MLB Baseball

9
Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Toronto1 0 1 0 3 0 0 4 0 9130
Boston1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 481
4
  W: J. Happ (10-11)   L: C. Sale (17-8)
4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, September 26, 2017
Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts  Attendance: 33,999

Blue Jays-Red Sox Preview

BOSTON -- To say Chris Sale has dominated the Toronto Blue Jays this season would be a gross understatement.

Three starts, no runs, 11 hits, two walks and 35 strikeouts. The Blue Jays are hitting .143 against the Boston Red Sox ace, who has a WHIP of 0.59 against them -- and he faces Toronto on Tuesday night in the second game of a three-game series at Fenway Park.

This season extends positive career numbers for the skinny left-hander against the Jays -- 6-2 with a 1.50 ERA in 11 appearances. That ERA is the lowest of any pitcher ever against Toronto (minimum 50 innings).

Sale, 17-7 with a 2.75 ERA and already the 14th pitcher in the modern era with 300 strikeouts in a season, may or may not be behind Cleveland's Corey Kluber (18-4, 2.27 ERA) in the Cy Young Award race as he steams toward the first postseason game of his career.

Boston's magic number for clinching its second straight American League East title remained at three when the New York Yankees won on Monday afternoon and the Red Sox lost 6-4 to Toronto on Monday night.

"Tonight's game. Nothing beyond tonight," Boston manager John Farrell, asked to look ahead at what's coming, said before the Monday game. "That's the attitude that this team has had the entire season. There is no reason to suggest that would change during this final homestand. We love the fact that we are back home."

However, the Monday loss raised reason for concern -- 16-game winner Drew Pomeranz lasted just two-plus innings, and Mookie Betts and Eduardo Nunez both left with injuries. More will be known Tuesday on the injured pair, but Betts said after the game he didn't think his painful left wrist was a serious problem.

Sale will pitch against left-hander J.A. Happ, who has followed a 20-4 season by going 9-11 with a 3.64 ERA this year. He is 1-0 with a 2.16 ERA in three starts against the Red Sox in 2017. Happ is 6-3 with a 3.38 ERA in 16 career outings -- 15 starts -- against Boston.

Happ gave up just one run in 6 2/3 innings on Thursday but took a 1-0 loss against the Kansas City Royals.

"I think he's throwing the ball just like he did last year," Toronto manager John Gibbons said after that game. "There was a stretch where he might have been missing his two-seamer a little bit, but I think he's starting to get a feel for that a little bit more. Other than that, he has been the same guy. He had to get built up when he came back (from injury), but since then, he's having a nice season."

Gibbons likes the way his last-place team, which has battled serious injuries all year, is playing out the schedule. Toronto took two out of three against the Yankees over the weekend before winning Monday night.

"That was never a concern of mine," Gibbons said. "But at the end of the season when you're out of it, you never know. But not with this group.

"We'd like to win a couple games here and maybe put a little heat on them over there and if the Yanks keep winning, maybe that'll be -- I don't know if it's gratification, but we'd like it."

Neither of the teams has had much success against the lefties who will start Tuesday night.

The current Toronto roster is batting .176 against Sale -- Russell Martin 0-for-12, Jose Bautista 1-for-17 (.059), Darwin Barney 1-for-13 (.077), Ryan Goins 1-for-7 (.143), Kevin Pillar 3-for-19 (.158) and Josh Donaldson 5-for-24 (.208).

Boston's roster is hitting a cumulative .202 against Happ. Andrew Benintendi is 0-for-7, Xander Bogaerts 1-for-21 (.048), Rajai Davis 1-for-13 (.077), Jackie Bradley Jr. 1-for-12 (.083), Betts 5-for-26 (.192), Dustin Pedroia, who rested his sore knee Monday, 7-for-32 (.219) and Brock Holt 2-for-9 (.222).

Updated September 26, 2017

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