After taking seven of their last eight against National League opponents, the Red Sox will look to carry over that form as they return to divisional play this week before embarking on a seven-game West Coast road trip.
The Sox begin a series with the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night at Fenway Park, with Felix Doubront, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Jon Lester all expected to take the mound during the three-game set.
Doubront is coming off two straight victories against the Miami Marlins, and his record now stands at an impressive 8-3 on the season. The lefty didn't have his best stuff in his last start on Wednesday, but a 15-run outburst by the Sox offense was enough to get Doubront his fourth win in five starts. He lasted six innings, allowing four runs on nine hits and striking out four batters.
Doubront, who gets the ball Monday night in the series opener against the Blue Jays, will look to repeat his last outing against Toronto, when he allowed two earned runs and struck out seven in 6 1/3 innings of work in a 7-4 Boston victory on June 2.
Matsuzaka's quest for his first victory of the season continues Tuesday night when the Japanese righty makes his fourth start since entering the rotation earlier this month. Matsuzaka lasted 5 1/3 innings in his last go-round against the Marlins on Thursday, surrendering four runs and delivering a season-high 101 pitches.
Boston will turn to Lester in Game 3 of the series on Wednesday, as the 28-year-old will look to rebound after a defeat in his last start against the Braves on Friday. Lester, who now sports a 4-5 record on the season to go with a 4.48 ERA, lasted seven innings against Atlanta while surrendering three runs on 10 hits. The Sox' offense couldn't provide much run support, however, as Boston fell in the game, 4-1.
In the bullpen, Andrew Miller has looked sharp over the last month, allowing just one run in his last nine appearances. Miller appeared in both Saturday and Sunday's victories over the Braves, tossing 1 2/3 scoreless innings combined to lower his ERA on the season to 2.16.
The Red Sox also received impressive efforts from a pair of fill-in starters this weekend. Franklin Morales went six innings on Saturday night, allowing just two earned runs while striking out eight to earn his first win. Morales entered the rotation when Josh Beckett went on the disabled list, and with Clay Buchholz joining him there Sunday, it looks like Morales may need to start for an extended period. Aaron Cook, freshly off the DL himself, made the start in place of Buchholz on Sunday and was solid, throwing four scoreless innings before allowing three runs, two earned, in the fifth. From there, Cook gave way to the Sox' bullpen, which closed the door on a 9-4 Boston win.
Who do you think will be this week's Amica Pitcher of the Week?
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