Red Sox-Blue Jays Preview
Before becoming a brief fan favorite in Toronto, David Price was a longtime nemesis of the Blue Jays.
Making his first appearance at Rogers Centre since joining the rival Boston Red Sox, Price looks to reprise his previous role and deny a three-game sweep by his former club in Sunday's finale.
Price's stay in Toronto was short but highly successful, with the five-time All-Star amassing a 9-1 record and a 2.30 ERA in 11 regular-season starts after being acquired from Detroit in late July to help the Blue Jays end a 22-year postseason drought. He's making a similar impact so far in Boston, winning seven of his first eight decisions in the first year of a lucrative seven-year contract.
Price (7-1, 5.34) began his Red Sox tenure with a 6.75 ERA through seven starts but is 3-0 with a 2.57 ERA over his past three. He extended the streak by holding Colorado to three runs over seven innings of Tuesday's 8-3 victory.
The 31-year-old did face the Blue Jays at Fenway Park on April 16, striking out nine and allowing two runs in seven innings to improve to 17-2 in 22 starts against Toronto. Price is 8-0 with a 2.84 ERA in 10 meetings since last losing to the Jays with Tampa Bay on Sept. 23, 2011.
Price's next assignment will be preventing the Red Sox' first four-game skid of 2016 and putting Saturday's difficult loss behind. After tying the game with a four-run rally in the eighth inning, the Blue Jays scored twice more in the ninth to pull out a 10-9 win for their fourth consecutive victory.
After David Ortiz sent Boston back ahead with a solo homer in the top of the ninth, Russell Martin drew Toronto (26-25) back even with a two-out RBI double off Craig Kimbrel and scored the deciding run on Devon Travis' infield single.
''With the potency in our lineup, I feel like no lead is really big enough,'' said Martin, who finished 3 for 3 with a homer and three RBIs.
Boston's Xander Bogaerts also homered among his three hits to extend his hitting streak to 21 games. He's batting .402 with five homers, 14 RBIs and 21 runs scored over that span.
Ortiz homered in a second straight game and has three with 12 RBIs over his last five. The retiring slugger is 13 for 24 with 10 extra-base hits in his past six.
''Papi going out there and hitting the home run that was huge for us,'' Kimbrel said. ''It was very disappointing that I wasn't able to close the door after that.''
Boston (29-20) should have an opportunity to bounce back if it can continue its recent success against R.A. Dickey (2-6, 4.60). The veteran knuckleballer is 0-5 with a 5.21 ERA in eight matchups with the Red Sox since the start of last season, with two of those losses coming last month.
Dickey also has had his problems at Rogers Centre, where he was reached for six earned runs in five innings of an 8-4 loss to Boston on April 9. The 41-year-old is 0-4 with a 5.64 ERA in five home starts.
Dickey was dealt a second straight loss after allowing four runs in 6 2/3 innings in Tuesday's 6-0 road defeat to the Yankees.
Ortiz is 10 for 36 with three homers off Dickey and Bogaerts is hitting .364 in the matchup.