The Red Sox will look to snap a two-game losing streak Saturday afternoon when Rick Porcello takes the mound opposite fellow right-hander Marcus Stroman in the middle game of the Red Sox-Blue Jays weekend series in Toronto.
Porcello has been one of the Red Sox’ most consistent starters this year. He is 7-2 with a 3.47 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. In his last start, Sunday against the Indians, he ran into some trouble in the second inning when Jason Kipnis singled to score two runs. After that, however, Porcello settled down and picked up his seventh win of the season. He ended up lasting 5 2/3 innings and allowing two runs on five hits and one walk with five strikeouts.
“They pressed [Porcello] on a day when he might not have had his best sink,” manager John Farrell said after the game. “But to keep to two runs in that [second] inning and then we come back and take a lead, so the big inning was the shutdown inning in the third. … Rick, on a day where it was a blue collar outing for him, did a very good job.”
The 27-year-old’s first two starts this season were against the Blue Jays, and both resulted in wins for Porcello. On April 9 in Toronto, Porcello went six innings and allowed four runs on seven hits (two home runs) and a walk with seven strikeouts in an 8-4 win. Then on April 15 at Fenway Park he pitched 6 1/3 innings and allowed three runs on just two hits — both home runs — and one walk with eight strikeouts as the Sox took a 5-3 victory. In his career Porcello is 6-7 against the Blue Jays with a 5.26 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.
Stroman, who only made four September starts last season after tearing his left ACL in spring training, is 5-1 in 10 starts this year with a 3.89 ERA with a 1.16 WHIP. The 25-year-old is coming off of a strong start Monday against the Twins. He threw 7 2/3 innings and allowed one run on three hits and two walks with three strikeouts in Toronto’s 3-1 win. He had allowed just one hit through seven innings.
“I felt great today. I felt like I was commanding all day and I was able to get that depth early on,” Stroman said after the start. “I was able to locate it all day long.”
Stroman, the 22nd pick in the 2012 draft, is 4-0 in five career starts against the Red Sox with a 2.38 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. In his last start against the Sox on April 8, Stroman lasted 5 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on six hits and three walks with four strikeouts in his team’s 8-7 loss.
Red Sox vs. Stroman (RHP)
David Ortiz (15 plate appearances): .231 AVG./.333 OBP/.308 SLG, 1 double, 2 RBIs, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts
Xander Bogaerts (11): .364/.364/.455, 1 double, 3 strikeouts
Dustin Pedroia (10): .400/.400/.500, 1 double, 2 strikeouts
Mookie Betts (9): .111/.111/.111, 4 strikeouts
Jackie Bradley Jr. is 0-for-8 with 1 walk and 4 strikeouts.
Travis Shaw is 2-for-4 with 1 double and 2 walks.
Christian Vazquez is 0-for-5 with 1 strikeout.
Hanley Ramirez is 1-for-3.
Blake Swihart is 1-for-3.
Chris Young is 0-for-3 with a strikeout.
Ryan Hanigan is 0-for-1 with a walk.
Josh Rutledge is 1-for-2 with 1 RBI.
Blue Jays vs. Rick Porcello (RHP)
Jose Bautista (36 plate appearances): .433 AVG./.528 OBP/.733 SLG, 3 HR, 9 RBIs, 6 walks, 4 strikeouts
Edwin Encarnacion (32): .375/.375/.781, 4 doubles, 3 HR, 9 RBIs, 5 strikeouts
Josh Donaldson (26): .269/.269/.423, 1 double, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 5 strikeouts
Justin Smoak (21): .389/.476/.944, 1 double, 3 HR, 9 RBIs, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts
Russell Martin (20): .118/.250/.118, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts
Kevin Pillar (16): .267/.313/.467, 3 doubles, 2 strikeouts
Ryan Goins (14): .143/.143/.286, 1 triple, 1 RBI, 3 strikeouts
Josh Thole (14): .143/.143/.357, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 3 strikeouts
Troy Tulowitzki (14): .167/.286/.167, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Ezequiel Carrera (11): .182/.182/.455, 1 double, 1 triple, 2 RBIs, 3 strikeouts
Jimmy Paredes (10): .400/.400/.700, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 2 strikeouts
Michael Saunders is 0-for-10 with 1 walk and 4 strikeouts.
Darwin Barney is 3-for-5.
Devon Travis is 0-for-2 with 1 walk and 1 strikeout.