The Toronto Blue Jays bid for their fourth straight victory Wednesday night when they face the visiting Boston Red Sox in Dunedin, Fla.
The Blue Jays pounded out 18 hits and received seven superb innings from left-hander Hyun Jin Ryu in defeating the Red Sox 8-0 on Tuesday in the opener of the three-game series.
The Blue Jays have won 16 of their past 23 games to move six games above .500 for the first time this season despite a rash of injuries.
“With everything that we’ve gone through, all the injuries, playing on the road it seems like every day, these guys have done a great job picking up each other,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said Tuesday before the game. “Every time we lose somebody, somebody else picks (them) up.”
The Blue Jays got one of their injured players back on Tuesday when Rafael Dolis (calf) was activated from the injured list. He pitched around an error and a walk with three strikeouts in the ninth inning.
“I’ll use him like I have in the past, whether that’s high leverage or wherever we need him,” Montoyo said. “He can close, too, and he’s done it. He’ll be anywhere from the sixth inning to the ninth inning, but he’s healthy and he’s good to go.”
George Springer (quadriceps) has played in only four games this season and continues to progress toward a return to the lineup.
The Blue Jays will start right-hander Ross Stripling (0-2, 5.91 ERA) Wednesday against Red Sox right-hander Garrett Richards (3-2, 3.89).
Stripling faced Boston once in 2020, taking the loss while giving up six hits and three earned runs in 4 1/3 innings. He is 2-1 with a 2.51 ERA in three career appearances against Boston.
Richards is 2-5 with a 5.49 ERA in nine career games (seven starts) against Toronto. He surrendered four earned runs, four hits and six walks in 4 2/3 innings in a 6-3 loss to the Blue Jays on Aug. 21.
For Boston, Enrique Hernandez (hamstring) was activated from the 10-day IL and went 1-for-4 while batting leadoff and playing center field on Tuesday.
The Red Sox are a half-game head ahead of the Blue Jays in the American League East.
“I think we’re in a good spot right now,” Hernandez said before the game on Tuesday. “We’re in first place. There’s a lot of ways we can get better. That’s what you want, finding ways to win games, even when you’re not playing great. And we’ve managed to do that so far.”
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Teoscar Hernandez each had three hits on Tuesday. Guerrero is batting .329/.445/.615 with 11 homers and 30 RBIs.
“He always controls the strikes zone,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “That’s something that he did in the minor leagues, and he’s doing that at the big-league level. And he’s able to drive the ball to right center. That’s a mark of a good hitter. But at the end of the day it’s about controlling the strike zone. And throughout his career, he’s done that.”
–Field Level Media