Red Sox need Munoz to remain hot against Blue Jays


Yairo Munoz is off to a fast start with the Boston Red Sox with hits in each of his first four games, including a 6-for-7 performance in a doubleheader split with the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday.

The Red Sox hope Munoz can keep the hot streak going Saturday night when the teams meet in the fourth game of the five-game series at Boston.

The Red Sox (13-27) will try to draw even in the series on Saturday and set up a rubber match on Sunday. The Blue Jays (21-17) won the first two games of the series.

Called up Aug. 31 from Boston’s alternate training site, Munoz is batting .533 (8-for-15) with three doubles and one home run.

The St. Louis Cardinals castoff, who played both corner outfield positions Friday, went 3-for-3 with a home run, a double and three RBIs in Toronto’s 8-7 victory in the first game and was 3-for-4 with a double in Boston’s 3-2 win in the second game.

“He swings the bat and that’s what they had told us in the alternate site, that he was swinging the bat better than anybody and that’s what we’re seeing,” Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke said. “That’s what I read all the time about him, about the good at-bats, so it would be a big boost if we can get somebody swinging it really hot and then get the other guys going.”

The Red Sox need a boost wherever they can find it. Their second-game win Friday ended a five-game losing streak while stopping Toronto’s three-game winning string.

Each game in the doubleheader was seven innings. Toronto was the home team in the second game because it was a makeup game for a postponement when the Red Sox visited the Blue Jays at their temporary home at Buffalo.

The Red Sox are scheduled to start right-hander Ryan Weber (0-2, 5.79 ERA) Saturday. He allowed two runs in three innings in a start against Toronto Aug. 7 at Boston. In six career games (three starts) against Toronto, he is 1-0 with a 6.35 ERA. Toronto had not named a starter.

The Blue Jays are on a stretch of 28 games in 27 days. “The (doubleheaders) are not easy because of the grinding of playing all these games with no days off,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “I approach it like every other one — worry about the first (game) before you worry about the second one.”

The Blue Jays have been making things difficult for themselves with mistakes on the bases and in the field.

Montoyo met the position players Friday. His message was: “Be aggressive, just be smart. Sometimes you don’t want to make mistakes and now you stop being aggressive because you’re afraid to get thrown out. Stay aggressive. But be smart.”

A fielding mistake turned out to be the decisive run in the second game Friday. Catcher Reese McGuire made a throwing error on a pickoff attempt at second base with the bases loaded in the fifth inning, allowing Boston’s third run of the game.

“That was just not a good throw, to throw to second with a man on third base,” Montoyo said. “That was the play of the game.”

–Field Level Media

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