After the Red Sox were swept in Baltimore two weekends ago, they saw a critical 10-game homestand stretched out before them. And following two dismal losses to the New York Yankees in the middle of the homestand, it seemed as if the 10-game span would offer up more of the same struggles.
Yet, following Sunday's 9-3 win over the Yankees, the Sox are now 5-2 on the homestand and finish it up with three straight against the Toronto Blue Jays, a team they have already swept.
Boston will look to improve on that mark behind John Lackey in the opener of the series Monday night. Brandon Morrow starts for the Blue Jays, who have won nine of 11 since losing three straight to the Sox in late April.
The Sox have won 14 of 21 meetings since the start of last year.
RHP Brandon Morrow (2-2, 5.40 ERA) vs. RHP John Lackey (3-1, 3.89 ERA)
Throw out one bad start on Patriots' Day against Tampa Bay and John Lackey has given the Sox everything they could want.
In his five other outings he is 3-0 with a 2.41 ERA, including what may have been his best start five days ago against his old team, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
In seven innings of a 3-1 win over the Angels, Lackey allowed just two hits — one a solo homer by Brandon Wood — and struck out four.
The big righty is 3-3 with a 3.31 ERA and an impressive 1.10 WHIP in 11 career starts against Toronto.
The 25-year-old Morrow has turned around a rough beginning to his 2010 campaign. After giving up 12 runs in nine innings of his first two starts, he has gone 2-1 with a 2.96 ERA in four subsequent outings.
Morrow, who has made just one career start against the Red Sox, has struck out 34 in 24 1/3 innings over the course of those four outings.
|Blue Jays||Red Sox|
|Fred Lewis, LF
Aaron Hill, 2B
Adam Lind, DH
Vernon Wells, CF
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Alex Gonzalez, SS
Jose Bautista, 3B
John Buck, C
Travis Snider, RF
|Marco Scutaro SS
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Victor Martinez C
J.D. Drew RF
David Ortiz DH
Adrian Beltre 3B
Darnell McDonald CF
One of the teams the Red Sox are looking up at in the AL East is the New York Yankees. Although it lost the weekend series between the teams, Boston took the finale from New York on Sunday.
Another team directly ahead of the Sox is the Blue Jays, who continue to surprise and enter the series on a hot streak.
With upcoming series at Detroit, New York, Tampa Bay and Philadelphia, and home meetings with AL Central-leading Minnesota, Boston has a formidable stretch in front of it. Taking care of business against Toronto, a team it expects to leapfrog at some point, is imperative.
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