The Boston Red Sox try to string back-to-back wins together for the first time this season when they continue their four-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox stopped a three-game losing streak and won for only the third time in 13 tries this season on Saturday, as Jed Lowrie went 3-for-5 with a two-run homer and Josh Beckett tossed seven innings of one-run baseball, helping Boston to a 4-1 win.
Kevin Youkilis and Adrian Gonzalez both knocked in a run for the Red Sox, while Beckett (2-1) gave up the one run on three hits to pick up his second victory in as many starts. The right-hander also struck out nine and walked two.
Boston manager Terry Francona opted to sit struggling free agent acquisition Carl Crawford, who is hitting a mere .137 on the year. He's expected to be back in the lineup this afternoon.
"From the outside looking in, I guess I'm trying to do too much, and I'm probably trying a little bit too hard," Crawford said. "You look up there [at the scoreboard], you see that one-something average, you try to get it all in one at-bat."
Travis Snider drove in the lone run for the Blue Jays, who sit at 7-7 on the young season.
Jo-Jo Reyes (0-2) lasted just three-plus frames, allowing four runs on seven hits. He also walked five and struck out three in the loss.
"I wasn't able to make in-game adjustments," Reyes said. "The biggest key was not throwing strikes."
Heading to the hill for the Red Sox this afternoon will be left-hander Jon Lester, who is 0-1 through three starts, but has pitched to a 3.72 earned run average. Lester was saddled with the loss his last time out on Tuesday against Tampa, as he gave up three runs and seven hits in seven innings.
Lester has faced the Blue Jays 13 times and is 7-4 with a 3.43 ERA in those games.
Toronto, meanwhile, will counter with right-hander Jesse Litsch, who has been terrific for the Jays in the early going, posting a 1-0 mark to go along with a 2.38 ERA. After beating Oakland in his season debut Litsch appeared well on his way to win No. 2 on Monday in Seattle, as he tossed five scoreless innings. However, the Mariners rallied from a seven-run deficit in that one, leaving Litsch with a no-decision.
This will be his eighth start against the Red Sox and he is 4-2 with a 3.83 ERA in those previous outings.
The Red Sox were 12-6 against the Blue Jays last season.