The Boston Red Sox matched their longest losing streak of the season and have seen their lead in the American League East trimmed to 2 1/2 games over the rival New York Yankees. The Red Sox will try to avoid a fifth straight setback when they open a seven-game road trip by visiting the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday.
Boston was outscored 38-10 in its last four contests and managed just four runs while being swept in a three-game series at home by the Baltimore Orioles over the weekend. “This is where our team has performed at its best. When we are faced with adversity, we come together and rally around each other,” Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters. “We have a good challenge ahead of us, but I’ve loved the way we have responded to challenges throughout the year.” Boston, which has a four-game showdown looming at New York this weekend, will take on a Blue Jays squad that dropped seven of its last nine games and sits in last place in the AL East. The Blue Jays allowed a total of 22 runs in three games over the weekend and will try to stop the bleeding with righty Marcus Stroman, who opposes lefty Drew Pomeranz.
TV: 7:07 p.m. ET, NESN (Boston), Sportsnet, TVA Sports (Toronto)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox LH Drew Pomeranz (13-4, 3.18 ERA) vs. Blue Jays RH Marcus Stroman (11-6, 3.17)
Pomeranz is still struggling to work deep into games but has not suffered a loss since June 11. The 28-year-old did not allow a run in either of his last two starts but totaled just 8 2/3 innings and has not completed seven frames since May 31 at the Chicago White Sox. Pomeranz nearly reached seven innings in a win over Toronto on July 19, when he allowed an unearned run on three hits and a season high-tying five walks in 6 2/3 frames.
Stroman owns one win in his last four starts and was roughed up at Tampa Bay on Wednesday, when he surrendered five runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings. That marked just the second time in 11 starts that the Duke product allowed more than three earned runs. Stroman was ripped for six runs and 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings at home by Boston on April 18, but was better at the Red Sox on July 17 when he did not yield an earned run over 6 2/3 frames.
1. Red Sox DH Hanley Ramirez is 1-for-15 in his last four starts.
2. The Toronto staff notched a season-high 17 strikeouts on Sunday.
3. Boston INF Eduardo Nunez is 8-for-43 in the last 10 games after hitting .384 in his first 16 games with the team.
PREDICTION: Red Sox 6, Blue Jays 3