MLB

Blue Jays-Red Sox Preview

If Jose Bautista and his teammates can duplicate their latest efforts, the Toronto Blue Jays likely won't have too many issues while Jose Reyes is on the disabled list.

R.A. Dickey might not need to worry about run support if he can repeat last season's performances against the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night.

Bautista shined in his second game back from an injured right shoulder Tuesday, hitting a solo homer and driving in three runs in a 11-8 victory. Josh Donaldson had his own solo homer and three of Toronto's season-high 17 hits.

The Blue Jays (10-11) had lost four in a row while batting .177 and scoring 11 runs.

They were also playing their first contest since putting Reyes on the DL for a fractured left rib. The shortstop, batting .250 with seven RBIs, reportedly tried to play through the injury for the past two weeks.

Reyes' absence might not be felt again Wednesday if Dickey can provide another stellar effort against the Red Sox (11-10) and bounce back from his miserable outing Friday. The knuckleballer was charged with eight runs in 4 2-3 innings in a 12-3 loss at Tampa Bay.

"I've thrown three pretty fair starts and one clunker," Dickey told MLB's official website. "I've got 30 starts left. I'm not like throwing my hands up in the air and panicking."

Dickey (0-2, 5.25 ERA) went 4-0 with a 2.23 ERA in five starts versus the Red Sox in 2014 and was 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA in his two in Boston. He didn't have more than two wins against any other team while finishing 14-13.

Rick Porcello (1-2, 6.48) is 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA in his last three starts against Toronto and gave up three runs in seven innings in his lone matchup last season, an 8-2 loss for Detroit on June 4.

The right-hander has surrendered at least four runs in each of his last three outings, including an 8-3 loss to Baltimore at Fenway Park on April 19 in which he was tagged for eight in five-plus innings.

Porcello was charged with four runs in six-plus innings Friday in a 7-5 road win against the Orioles, a performance that began a five-game stretch in which the Red Sox have put up a gaudy 8.32 ERA. They've allowed 34 runs in the past three contests and blew an early four-run lead Tuesday.

"We've been victimized by the big inning and we've got to find a way to minimize the damage in those situations," manager John Farrell said. "It's a matter of going out and continuing to execute. There's got to be an ability to slow some hitters down."

Boston has scored 32 runs in that same span while batting .282 after hitting .194 in an eight-game stretch while pushing across 26 runs.

Pablo Sandoval is 9 for 16 with two homers, two doubles and seven RBIs in those past five contests. He went 4 for 5 with a pair of doubles Tuesday after leaving Monday's opener with what Farrell called a "whiplash injury."

Sandoval has one single in his last six at-bats against Dickey while Xander Bogaerts is 6 for 11 with two doubles lifetime in this matchup. Bautista is 8 for 17 in his career against Porcello but all of those hits have been singles.

Hanley Ramirez is seeking to match the Red Sox's most homers before the start of May, David Ortiz's 10 in 2006. Ramirez has four in his last five games and none in 21 career at-bats versus Dickey.

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