Sunday, April 17, 2016

Red Sox call on knuckler Wright vs. Jays

Two days after watching fellow knuckleballer R.A. Dickey take the loss for the Blue Jays, Steven Wright will try to pitch the Red Sox to victory Sunday in the third game of this four-game series between American League East rivals at Fenway Park.
Wright had a strong season debut against the Blue Jays one week ago, allowing just two runs (one earned) over 6 2/3 innings in a tough-luck, 3-0 loss.
There was speculation in Spring Training that righty Aaron Sanchez could be on the verge of a breakout season for the Blue Jays, and his start to the regular season has done nothing to diminish that optimism. Sanchez has allowed just three runs (two earned) over 13 innings against the Rays and Yankees.
Things to know about this game
• The Blue Jays are not going to miss David Ortiz once he retires. The slugger holds the all-time record for doubles, homers and RBIs against the club. His 126 extra-base hits against the Blue Jays are also a record, and the most for any active player against a team. Ortiz's 59 homers against the Blue Jays are by far his best total against any team. He has clubbed 49 against the Rays, who come to Boston for a three-game series that starts Tuesday.
• Both teams are becoming deeply familiar with their divisional opponents. Sunday will mark the 13th game of the season for Toronto, and every game has been against the AL East. Aside from their first two games of the season against the Indians, the Sox have also stayed exclusively in the division, with Sunday serving as the ninth game in a 13-game stretch vs. the AL East.
• Sanchez has allowed just one hit in 10 career at-bats against shortstop Xander Bogaerts; Ortiz is 4-for-7 against the righty. Josh Donaldson is 2-for-6 against Wright, but all four outs have been strikeouts.

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