Toronto (74-73) at Boston (82-65)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Boston, MA, US
Temp: 74° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Sat Sep 18, 2010
  • TV: RSN, NESN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The last few times he’s faced them, Josh Beckett(notes) has struggled to keep the Toronto Blue Jays from going deep.

After breaking the franchise record for home runs in a season, Jose Bautista(notes) will look to add to Beckett’s woes when the Blue Jays continue a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox on Saturday night.

While Beckett (5-4, 5.83 ERA) has gone 2-1 with a 3.16 ERA over his last four starts including a victory over Oakland on Sunday, he’s had problems recently when facing Toronto.

Beckett is 0-2 with a 14.61 ERA in five outings against the Blue Jays (74-73) since beating them on Sept. 4, 2007.

The right-hander gave up eight runs and nine hits—including a homer to Bautista—over three innings in Boston’s 13-12 win on April 26. Beckett has surrendered eight home runs over his 20 1-3 innings during the winless stretch to Toronto.

Bautista will try to increase that total after hitting his 48th homer in an 11-9 win Friday. His two-run shot broke the franchise record set by George Bell in 1987, and is the most in the AL since Alex Rodriguez(notes) hit 54 in 2007 for the New York Yankees.

The win improved Toronto to 5-11 against Boston (82-65), and was its second in nine games overall after holding off a late Boston rally.

“You can never have enough runs in this ballpark,” Toronto manager Cito Gaston said. “That’s why you’ve got to keep piling them up.”

Boston, which had won four in a row, hasn’t lost a series to the Blue Jays this season.

The Red Sox have enjoyed success against Ricky Romero(notes) (12-9, 3.72), who will take the mound for Toronto on Saturday looking to equal his win total as a rookie last year. Romero is 0-1 with an 8.22 ERA in three starts against Boston in 2010.

The left-hander lasted four innings against Tampa Bay last Saturday after allowing six runs and just three hits in the 13-1 loss.

Facing Boston may not help him bounce back. Romero yielded four runs and nine hits in seven innings of a 5-4, 11-inning loss on Aug. 21, and is 1-4 with a 7.88 ERA lifetime against the Red Sox.

Three Boston players with at least 15 at-bats are hitting .400 or better against Romero, including Victor Martinez(notes), who is 8 for 18. Martinez homered twice Friday, and finished with five RBIs, but popped out to end the game. He’s hitting .324 with 12 RBIs in his last nine games.

David Ortiz(notes) (8 for 20) and J.D. Drew(notes) (8 for 18) are the others to fare well against Romero.

Aaron Hill(notes), who is a .406-lifetime hitter against Beckett, was hit by a pitch in the second inning Friday and did not take the field in the third. He has a bruised right wrist.

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Starting Pitchers

R. Romero SF vs. J. Beckett LAD
14-9 Record 6-6
3.73 ERA 5.78
174 K 116
82 BB 45
1.29 WHIP 1.54

Scoreboard

Saturday, Sep 18