The Toronto Blue Jays haven’t made much noise all season in the American League East, but the club sure has had its say in regard to how the division shakes out down the stretch. After taking two of three from the second-place New York Yankees over the weekend, the Blue Jays vie for a three-game road sweep of the first-place Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Wednesday.
Josh Donaldson highlighted his second straight three-hit performance on Tuesday by belting two of his team’s five homers in Toronto’s 9-4 triumph. The 2015 AL Most Valuable Player has launched 24 homers since the All-Star break and is a respectable 10-for-36 with a homer in his career versus Wednesday starter Rick Porcello. Boston, which is just 4-5 at home against Toronto this season, saw its lead reduced to three games over New York with five left on the schedule. Xander Bogaerts had a pair of singles Tuesday and has scored seven runs during his five-game hitting streak, but is batting just .083 in his career versus Wednesday starter Marco Estrada.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, Sportsnet (Toronto), NESN (Boston)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Blue Jays RH Marco Estrada (10-8, 4.70 ERA) vs. Red Sox RH Rick Porcello (10-17, 4.55)
Estrada won his third straight start and career-high fifth consecutive decision on Friday after allowing one run on three hits over seven innings of an 8-1 rout versus the Yankees. The 34-year-old has permitted two runs or fewer in four straight starts, with a three-hit gem over seven scoreless innings at Boston on Sept. 5 included in that stretch. Dustin Pedroia (.448) has gotten his licks in on Estrada, but the hurler has kept Brock Holt (.063), Andrew Benintendi (.100), Christian Vazquez (.100) and Mookie Betts (.130) under wraps.
Porcello has struggled at Fenway Park with a 6-11 mark and 5.30 ERA this season, including a seven-run, 10-hit performance against Toronto on Sept. 4. The 2016 Cy Young Award winner owns a 1-2 mark in three starts this season versus the Blue Jays, with Jose Bautista (.354, five homers) and Kevin Pillar (.303) enjoying success against the hurler in their careers. Porcello settled for a no-decision on Friday, as Scooter Gennett’s grand slam soured his four-inning outing versus Cincinnati.
1. Boston CF Jackie Bradley Jr. is 0-for-22 with seven strikeouts in his last seven contests.
2. Toronto OF Teoscar Hernandez, who also went deep twice on Tuesday, is 7-for-21 with five homers, nine RBIs and eight runs scored during his five-game hitting streak.
3. Red Sox DH/INF Eduardo Nunez (knee), Pedroia (knee) and Betts (wrist) are considered day-to-day by manager John Farrell.
PREDICTION: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 2