The Red Sox finish their four-game series against the Blue Jays in Toronto on Thursday afternoon when they send Rubby De La Rosa to the mound against Marcus Stroman.

Rubby De La Rosa

Rubby De La Rosa

De La Rosa (3-2, 2.64 ERA) has been nearly unbeatable at Fenway Park this season. He’s given up one run or fewer in three of his four home starts, all of which have been Red Sox wins. That includes his most recent outing against Kansas City on Saturday. De La Rosa allowed just one run, five hits and four walks over seven innings in a 2-1 win over the Royals.

“He’s been outstanding at home,” manager John Farrell said after the game. “Even in the couple of situations where we gave an extra base runner, he shut it down and pitched with a lot of poise tonight.”

Unfortunately for the Red Sox, those results haven’t translated away from Fenway. The Sox have lost all three of De La Rosa’s road starts. He’s allowed nine runs in 18 1/3 innings on the road, where he will pitch on Thursday.

De La Rosa has just two-thirds of an inning of experience against the Blue Jays, which came in two short relief appearances last season in which he faced just one hitter. The only current Blue Jay the right-hander has faced is Jose Bautista, with one plate appearance.

After starting his major league career in the bullpen, Stroman (5-2, 3.58 ERA) has come on strong as a starter for Toronto this season. The righty has a 2.50 ERA in nine starts since joining the rotation May 31.

Stroman’s most recent start was one of his strongest. He tossed seven shutout innings Saturday against the Rangers, giving up four hits and no walks and striking out five in a 4-1 Blue Jays win. Stroman got himself into trouble just once in the game, facing a two-on, none-out situation in the fourth inning. He quickly got out of that jam with three straight outs.

“I feel like I know what I need to do [in that situation],” Stroman said after the game. “You have to raise your intensity. You can’t be as relaxed. I’m able to make a big pitch in a crucial count, and that was one of those moments.”

Stroman has been plagued by high pitch counts in some cases this season. He allowed just two runs against the Yankees on June 17, but was pulled after throwing 98 pitches in 3 2/3 innings.

Stroman has never faced the Red Sox or a member of their current lineup in his brief career.

Red Sox vs. Stroman (RHP)

No Red Sox players have faced Stroman.

Blue Jays vs. De La Rosa (RHP)

Jose Bautista is hitless in one career plate appearance.

Blog Author: 
Nick Canelas

Red Sox president Larry Lucchino joined Dennis & Callahan Friday to discuss John Lackey‘€™s future in Boston and the team’€™s strategy as the trade deadline nears.

Red Sox president Larry Lucchino joined Dennis & Callahan Friday to discuss John Lackey‘€™s future in Boston and the team’€™s strategy as the trade deadline nears. To listen to the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

With just one week until the July 31 trade deadline, Lucchino said that the team’€™s performance over the next seven games — all against AL East opponents — will play a huge factor in determining whether to buy or sell.

“I don’€™t think it’€™s a binary process, I don’€™t think you’€™re either one or the other, you may see some moves that take place and some other moves that do not take place,” Lucchino said, continuing: “We’ve never been in this position in our 13 years. We have never been in a position where we haven’€™t been anything but aggressive buyers because we’ve always, even in the catastrophic years of 2011-12, we were well over .500 at this stage of the season, so this is relatively new to us. … I do think that we will be active. … We’€™re always active.”

Lackey has one more year remaining on his contract, which will pay him the league-minimum sum of $500,000 in 2015 — a far cry from the $15.25 million the righty is earning this year. Lucchino said that the team will negotiate with Lackey after the season in an attempt to keep him with the team beyond next season.

“I think that there will be some contract negotiations with him probably at the end of the year as well and we’€™ll see what his frame of mind is with respect to longer-term contracts. … We will explore how we can keep John Lackey as a member of the Boston Red Sox.”

The Red Sox front office could lose a vital cog in its machine in the coming days, as assistant general manager Mike Hazen is one of the finalists for the Padres vacant general manager position. The Padres have had a history of plucking officials from the Red Sox organization, as former Boston COO Mike Dee is now the CEO of the Padres, while the last two San Diego general managers –€“ Jed Hoyer and Josh Byrnes –€“ were Sox executives first.

“Mike is an extremely talented, versatile, valuable member of our front office,” Lucchino said. “He is a right hand to Ben Cherington. He has a great future in baseball. He ultimately will be a general manager someday, of that I have no doubt. I just hope it’€™s not right now. I know that’€™s a little selfish of us to say, but I hope Mike stays with us. I will say that he’€™s in the final four in San Diego and they have been known to take some of our front office people in the past, but we want to keep Mike Hazen if it’€™s at all possible.”

To read Lucchino’s comments on the stalled Jon Lester contract negotiations, click here. For more Red Sox news, go to the team page at weei.com/redsox.

Blog Author: 
Conor Ryan

TORONTO — According to an industry source, despite the statements by Red Sox officials (principal owner John Henry to the Boston Herald, CEO/president Larry Lucchino to WEEI) that the team has agreed with pitcher Jon Les

Larry Lucchino discussed the latest on the contract talks with Jon Lester.

TORONTO — According to an industry source, despite the statements by Red Sox officials (principal owner John Henry to the Boston Herald, CEO/President Larry Lucchino to WEEI) that the team has agreed with pitcher Jon Lester to postpone contract negotiations until after the season, the pitcher would be open to an in-season offer that was consistent with the marketplace.

If the Sox were to make an offer in line with what the market has produced in terms of recent contracts for pitchers of Lester’s status, the source added, such an offer would permit an efficient resolution as to whether the basis for an in-season extension existed, thus avoiding concerns about potential distractions for either the pitcher or his teammates.

Lester, 30, is 10-7 with a 2.50 ERA, 9.3 strikeouts and 2.3 walks per nine innings this year. He is amidst a year in which he’s posting the best ERA, walk rate, strike0ut-to-walk rate (4.6-to-1) and WHIP (1.117) of his career.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

During his appearance on Dennis & Callahan on Thursday, Red Sox president Larry Lucchino confirmed that contract talks with Jon Lester have been put on hold until after the season, just before the left-hander officially becomes a free agent.

During his appearance on Dennis & Callahan on Thursday, Red Sox president Larry Lucchino confirmed that contract talks with Jon Lester have been put on hold until after the season, just before the left-hander officially becomes a free agent.

“[Ben Cherington] may still have some continuing discussion with [agent] Seth [Levinson] on other issues or other matters, but certainly the negotiation, the parties have agreed to let’s step away and do this after the season,” Lucchino said, adding: “Jon made very clear to us that that was his preference.”

Lucchino said Lester wants to concentrate on his pitching for now.

“It’s done in part out of respect for Jon Lester and his desire to postpone this until after the season,” Lucchino said. “He’s on an extraordinary roll. His last five or six games, his ERA is I don’t know, 0.90 or something like that. He’s leading this team, leading the rotation, and his very strong preference, as I think you might have heard from him just a day or two ago on national television was not to have his family and himself distracted and focused on something other than pitching and winning baseball games.”

Lucchino said the move does not mean the Red Sox have given up on re-signing the pitcher, but he refused to talk about any specifics.

“I’m not going to answer a question about the analysis of the stages of this negotiation, because the negotiation will continue,” he said. “It will continue after the season, to be sure, but there will be an opportunity for us to resume negotiations with Jon and with his agent — they have made that abundantly clear to us. So, looking back and doing an analysis of, ‘Was this a wrong step or was this the right step,’ would only be counterproductive.

“I think that your listeners care about whether Jon Lester is likely to stay as a member of the Boston Red Sox for future years. And that probability will be diminished if we talk prematurely or excessively about various stages of the negotiation along the way. That’s not the way to sign Jon Lester. I know it makes for less good radio because you don’t have stages and details and ‘Who shot Jon’ analysis of various parts of the negotiation. But if the goal is to sign Jon Lester, it seems to me, and to keep him a member of the Boston Red Sox, again, negotiation on the radio waves is not the way to do it.”

To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar

Dustin Pedroia will get a day off as the Red Sox look to earn a series split against the Blue Jays on Thursday.

Dustin Pedroia will get a day off as the Red Sox look to earn a series split against the Blue Jays on Thursday. Brock Holt will get the start at second base, with the outfield featuring Daniel Nava in left, Jackie Bradley Jr. in center and Shane Victorino (batting second) playing right.

Pedroia went 1-for-4 on Wednesday; he’s now 2-for-24 (.083) in six games to open the second half. Meanwhile, the start represents a landmark of sorts for Holt, who has now started at all four infield positions and all three outfield positions this year, thus becoming the first Red Sox player ever to start at every infield and outfield position in the same season.

Christian Vazquez will be behind the plate to catch Rubby De La Rosa for the matinee game.

RED SOX LINEUP

Brock Holt, 2B

Shane Victorino, RF

David Ortiz, DH

Mike Napoli, 1B

Daniel Nava, LF

Stephen Drew, SS

Xander Bogaerts, 3B

Jackie Bradley Jr., CF

Christian Vazquez, C

Rubby De La Rosa, SP

Blog Author: 
Alex Speier