Paced by a productive offense, the Boston Red Sox continue to build confidence amid their current surge.
Coming off their highest-scoring game of the season, the visiting Red Sox look for a sixth consecutive victory Tuesday night against the Toronto Blue Jays.A winner in eight of nine since losing seven of eight, Boston (47-52) owns a 38-6 scoring advantage while batting .333 during a five-game winning streak that has helped pull the club out of last place in the AL East."There's good energy throughout," manager John Farrell said.David Ortiz hit two of the Red Sox's four home runs Monday and they also recorded a season-high 18 hits in the 14-1 rout of Toronto (51-49)."Our offense is kind of coming along lately," said Ortiz, who was 1 for 17 in his previous four games. "There's no better time for it."Ortiz's 453rd career home run in the fifth moved him past Boston great Carl Yastrzemski into 36th place all-time. He's 5 for 27 in his last seven games against the Blue Jays, but four of those hits were home runs.Teammate Mike Napoli is 7 for 12 in his last three games and has homered in two straight. He's 8 for 16 versus Toronto in 2014.Jake Peavy (1-8, 4.59 ERA) allowed seven runs in 5 2/3 innings of his first start against the Blue Jays in 2010, but is 3-1 with a 2.13 ERA in six outings since. He yielded a homer to Juan Francisco and four other hits in seven innings of an 8-1 victory at Rogers Centre on April 25.Since then, the right-hander has gone 0-8 with a 5.21 ERA in 14 starts.Peavy, however, has a 2.84 ERA despite going 0-2 and receiving three runs of support while on the mound in his last three. He gave up three runs and struck out nine in seven innings of a 3-2 loss at Houston on July 12."It's not even the run support, it's just finding a way to win on that day," Peavy told MLB's official website. "I've pitched in tight games my whole career and found a way to put us in better situations to win those tight games."Francisco, who is 2 for 3 versus Peavy, had the lone RBI and one of the three hits Monday for Toronto, which is tied for second in the East after going 13-25 since entering play on June 7 with a six-game division lead."The best thing about (Monday's game) is it's over with," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.Toronto slugger Jose Bautista has not homered in 14 straight games and is 3 for 20 in his last six. He's 4 for 20 without a homer against Peavy.J.A. Happ (7-5, 4.91) is making his first start since giving up five runs in 4 1/3 innings of a 5-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on July 7, but gave up two runs and three hits in 2/3 innings of relief at Tampa Bay on July 12.The left-hander is 2-2 with a 5.47 ERA in five starts versus Boston. He prevailed at Fenway Park on May 20 despite giving up four runs in five innings of a 7-4 victory.While Napoli is 3 for 6 versus Happ, Ortiz is 0 for 4 against him.
Jake Peavy has allowed a .184 ISO against his cutter and sinker this season, which is 51 points above the average among pitchers who have thrown at least 200 cutters and sinkers. Jose Reyes has a .308 ISO against cutters and sinkers this season, which is 157 points above the league average among qualified hitters.