Game Threat: Climbing the AL East Ladder, Blue Jays (30-26) vs Red Sox (32-23)

For the second start in a row, R.A. Dickey carried a no hitter into the sixth inning against the league’s most potent offence, but this time, unlike last Sunday, it didn’t blow up in his face. And now, the Blue Jays have won 11 of their past 14 games, eight of their last ten against the Red Sox and Yankees, suddenly pushing them to just 2.5 games out of the AL East lead. Damn, that’s pretty crazy, considering the season was over in early May, right? Woosh. 

Yesterday

Last night’s game featured a matchup of the American League and National League Cy Young Award winners from 2012, who also just happened to be the Blue Jays’ No. 3 and No. 4 starters last season — David Price and R.A. Dickey. This was actually the third time this season that the Jays had faced their former No. 3, acquired last season at the trade deadline to give them some depth behind staff ace Marco Estrada and staff No.2 Marcus Stroman who was still over a month away from returning to action. 

In the first, Edwin Encarnacion clubbed a two-run home run off Price after a Josh Donaldson walk to grab an early 2-0 lead. In the bottom half, the Red Sox cut that lead in half after Mookie Betts drew a leadoff walk, and the next two hitters played #TeamFirst baseball, pushing him over to third base with a pair of ground outs so that Josh Thole could let him score with a passed ball. 

That run, which was charged as unearned to Dickey, was all that the Red Sox would be able to muster off of him, as the Jays held a 3-1 lead into the eighth when it became a game of relievers. In the top of the inning, Koji Uehara came in, and such as he’s done pretty much all season against Toronto, allowed the Jays to score two runs, as Devon Travis homered with Justin Smoak on base. 

In the bottom half, Joe Biagini came in and, well, wasn’t that good, allowing a walk to Xander Bogaerts, a double to David Ortiz, and a run to score via a Hanley Ramirez groundout. He got the second out of the inning with a strikeout of Travis Shaw, but with a runner on second, John Gibbons brought Roberto Osuna in to close out the inning (which he did), and the ninth (which he did, with, uh, some slight trouble). 

It was a game against Boston so obviously it was a little nerve-wracking, especially with the tying run up to bat in the ninth, but also, it was a win over Boston, so fuck yeah, and fuck you Boston. 

Today

Marcus Stroman will get the ball for the Jays today in what’ll be his third start against the Red Sox this season. The first two have been preeeeeeeeeeetty forgettable, especially last weekend’s drumming in which he was tagged for seven earned runs on 11 hits over five-and-a-third innings. Stroman has been in somewhat of a funk lately, as aside from his excellent start against some Triple-A team in Minnesota, he’s been drilled by Boston and Tampa Bay in the past few weeks. 

For the Red Sox, Steven Wright, who’s been inexplicably phenomenal this season, will roll out for his third start against the Blue Jays this season. Wright’s 2.45 ERA is the sixth best of any starter in the American League, putting him into a bunch with the likes of Marco Estrada and Rich Hill who, errr, if I had told you back this time last year that they would be staff aces right now, I’m sure you’d be laughing. 

Anyways, Wright made two starts against Toronto to open his season back in April with pretty identical lines. Aside from one bad start back on May 13 against Houston, where he allowed five runs over four-and-a-third, he’s been excellent, never going fewer than six innings and never allowing more than three runs. 

Keep that ball rolling! A win in this game would guarantee a win in the series regardless of the outcome in Sunday’s game, which would mean the Jays earned a series win in all four of the Boson/New York series that we were worried about a week and a half ago. 

Blue Jays

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Red Sox

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