The Toronto Blue Jays will be out to complete their season-long dominance of the visiting Boston Red Sox on Sunday afternoon by completing a three-game sweep.
The Blue Jays defeated the Red Sox 10-0 Saturday and have outscored the Red Sox 19-0 in the first two games of the three-game series.
Toronto (89-69) has gone 15-3 against Boston (75-83) this season. It matches the Blue Jays’ highest number of wins in a single season against an opponent. They had 15 wins against the Baltimore Orioles in 2002 and 2010.
Led by four hits from Teoscar Hernandez, the Blue Jays had 21 hits on Saturday, their second-highest total of the season. They had 29 hits July 22 at Boston.
“That’s a good hitting team, but we’re going to be in this division for a long, long time,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “They’re changing rules, but not divisions. You’re going to face all these teams. We’ve got to do a better job. They have had their way against us.”
The Red Sox, who have lost eight straight to Toronto, are 23-49 against American League East opponents,
The Blue Jays have clinched a playoff spot but are still playing for the No. 1 AL wild-card spot, which they hold by 1 1/2 games over the Seattle Mariners, who defeated the visiting Oakland Athletics 5-1 on Saturday.
The Blue Jays will start right-hander Kevin Gausman (12-10, 3.30 ERA) in the series finale. Gausman is 7-8 with a 3.96 ERA in 25 career games (20 starts) against Boston.
The Red Sox will start right-hander Michael Wacha (11-1, 3.06 ERA). Wacha is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in six career games (five starts) against Toronto.
If the Blue Jays can hold the top wild-card spot, they would play all games of a best-of-three first-round playoff series at home starting on Friday.
“Stay healthy; have a good rhythm; play clean defense,” Blue Jays interim manager John Schneider said. “Things that we preach all the time. But it’s always nice when you do hit the postseason, when you’re on a roll. Baseball is kind of contagious that way, so hopefully we can continue to do those things.”
Schneider feels that momentum is important at this time of the season saying that it is the team “that’s hot right now that makes the deep run.”
“We’ve been streaky and we’ve had our ups and downs,” said Ross Stripling, who pitched six innings Saturday. “But we’ve always said this team was too talented not to click and it seems like everything is happening at the right time. It just feels like everyone is kind of playing at their best and playing as a team and picking each other up. That’s exactly what you want heading into October baseball.”
Boston reinstated right-hander Kaleb Ort from the restricted list Saturday and recalled right-hander Josh Winckowski. Right-hander Tyler Danish and outfielder Jarren Duran were optioned to Triple-A Worcester.
Ort is not vaccinated against COVID-19 and could not enter Canada on Friday. The restrictions were lifted on Saturday.
Winckowski allowed six hits and three runs in three relief innings on Saturday.
The Red Sox, who have been shut out eight times this season, are 3-8 over their past 11 games.
The Blue Jays have shut out their opponents 10 times this season. They are 40-32 against the AL East.
–Field Level Media