Jon Lester (8-6) vs Roy Halladay (10-3) In The Finale!
After splitting the first two games of their series up in Canada, the Boston Red Sox are looking to end the first part of their road-trip on a positive note. Here’s the good news for the Sox, Jon Lester (8-6) will be on the mound for this afternoon. As Boston goes for the series win verse the Toronto Blue Jays this afternoon. Now for the bad news the Sox and Lester will have to do it against Roy Halladay, who pitches for the Blue Jays in the rubber game of the series. So it’s lights, camera and action as it’s Jon Lester (8-6) vs Roy Halladay (10-3) in the finale!
The Sox won Friday night’s game 4-1, thanks in part to the great pitching performance from Clay Buchholz. Buchholz who was recalled from AAA Pawtucket, went 5 2/3 innings, while only allowing 4 hits and 1 run to the Jays, in capturing his first victory of the season. Clay definitely made the most of his outing, as he might have just shown the Sox enough to keep him around in a Boston uniform. He also might have impressed a few other clubs with his performance, possibly making it easier for the Sox to include his name in a future trade.
All of the offense that Buchholz and the Sox needed was provided by Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz. As the two combined for 3 of the team’s 6 hits on the evening, and they drove in all 4 of Boston’s runs. Youkilis provided Buchholz an early 2-0 lead, as he went yard for his 17th homer of the year, in the first inning. While Big Papi, chipped in with his 20th double of the season in the fifth, which plated both Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia. Those four runs were enough as the Sox secured the victory in the series opener, 4-1.
Unfortunately it was a different story in the middle game of the series as the Blue Jays took it 6-2, over Boston. The Jays jumped all over Boston’s starter Brad Penny for an early 6-1 lead after five innings, and never looked back. Penny’s line for the day was 5 innings, 8 hits, 6 runs (all earned) a walk and 3 strikeouts. Toronto had a great pitching performance from Marc Rzepczynski, (1-1) who earned his first victory of the season on Saturday afternoon. Rzepczynski only allowed one Sox player to score, in his 6 innings of work. As Rocco Baldelli singled in Jason Bay (who doubled), in the top of the second which gave Boston a short lived lead in the game at 1-0.
Penny’s performance has many in and around Boston wondering what the Sox will do. Will they try and trade Penny before the trade deadline of July 31st? Since in his last 10 outings he’s only entered the 6th inning or beyond on 4 occasions. Which might not be enough to keep him in a Sox uniform, since on days when he pitches the Sox can expect to use the bullpen early. Or will they ship Buchholz as part of a package deal, possibly for Toronto’s own Halladay?