Boston (52-37) at Toronto (48-43)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Toronto, ON
Temp: 46° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Thu Jul 10, 2003
  • TV: NESN, RSN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Jason Varitek is happy to be an All-Star. The Boston Red Sox are happy he’s playing like one.

Varitek will look to continue his inspired play as the Red Sox try to complete a three-game sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays at SkyDome.

Varitek and Milwaukee outfielder Geoff Jenkins won the Internet balloting for the final spots on their respective All-Star teams.

Varitek received 3,210,509 votes to beat out Frank Thomas of the Chicago White Sox, Eric Byrnes of the Oakland Athletics, Jason Giambi of the New York Yankees and Bengie Molina of the Anaheim Angels for the 32nd spot on the AL team.

“It’s a great honor. I hope I can represent my teammates well,” Varitek said. “It’s a huge compliment. I want to thank the fans in Boston. They are the ones that made the difference. It’s just a great honor for anybody to have.”

Varitek, batting .300 with 15 homers and 54 RBIs, will be making his first All-Star appearance in next Tuesday’s game in Chicago.

“I’m sure anybody would like to have the opportunity,” Varitek said. “It’s a nice milestone for me and my career.”

Varitek has been one of Boston’s most reliable hitters this season.

The 31-year-old catcher went 2-for-3 with a walk and three RBIs on Wednesday as the Red Sox rallied for an 8-7 win.

Carlos Delgado went 3-for-5 and knocked in his major league-leading 94th run for Toronto. Delgado needs six RBIs in his next four games to join Hank Greenberg (1935) and Juan Gonzalez (1998) as the only players to have at least 100 before the All-Star break.

The Blue Jays have lost nine of 11, including the first two of 12 straight games against the Red Sox and New York Yankees—the teams ahead of them in the AL East.

STANDINGS: Red Sox - 2nd place, 3 GB, AL East. Blue Jays - 3rd place, 8 GB, AL East.

RED SOX PROBABLE STARTER: Ramiro Mendoza (2-3, 6.02 ERA). Mendoza was excellent in his first start of the season, holding the Yankees to six hits over five scoreless innings in the Red Sox’s 10-2 win at Yankee Stadium on Saturday. It was Mendoza’s first win since April 27. The right-hander is 1-2 with a 6.81 ERA in 28 appearances out of the bullpen.

BLUE JAYS PROBABLE STARTER: Corey Lidle (10-7, 5.68 ERA). Toronto manager Carlos Tosca moved Lidle up a day in the rotation to start Thursday’s series finale. The veteran righty is 1-1 with a 6.25 ERA in nine games, including four starts, against Boston. Lidle has been awful of late, going 0-3 with a 12.21 ERA over his last three starts. He allowed seven runs and 10 hits over 3 2-3 innings in a 9-2 loss to Baltimore on Saturday.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Red Sox - Bill Mueller, .327 avg.; Nomar Garciaparra, 73 runs; Manny Ramirez, 21 HRs and 68 RBIs; Johnny Damon, 18 SBs. Blue Jays - Delgado .313 avg., 28 HRs, 94 RBIs and 74 runs; Orlando Hudson, 5 SBs.

SEASON SERIES: Tied, 6-6.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Red Sox - SS Garciaparra is in a 2-for-27 slump, which has lowered his batting average from .343 to .324. … RHP Byung-Hyun Kim has converted three straight save chances since moving into the closer’s role last week. … OF Ramirez is 5-for-11 with four RBIs lifetime against RHP Lidle. Blue Jays - OF Vernon Wells is 4-for-8 with a home run and seven RBIs lifetime against RHP Mendoza. … OF Frank Catalanatto went 5-for-5 with a home run on Wednesday. Catalanatto is batting .346 in 43 career games against Boston. … 3B Eric Hinske is 1-for-10 with five strikeouts and an error in the first two games of the series. Hinske was caught looking to end both games.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Red Sox - 24-25 on the road; Blue Jays - 22-21 at home.

INJURIES: Red Sox - 1B Jeremy Giambi (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Casey Fossum (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Robert Person (hip), 15-day DL. Blue Jays - INF Dave Berg (fatigue), 15-day DL; RHP Cliff Politte (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Pete Walker (knee), 15-day DL; LHP Doug Creek (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Bob File (shoulder surgery), 60-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

R. Mendoza Mil vs. C. Lidle NYY
3-5 Record 12-15
6.75 ERA 5.75
36 K 112
20 BB 60
1.77 WHIP 1.43