Blue Jays seek series edge vs. Red Sox after walkoff win

STATS/TSX

TORONTO --The Toronto Blue Jays have defeated the Boston Red Sox twice this season -- both on walkoff homers.

Curtis Granderson accomplished the feat with his fourth career walkoff homer in the 10th inning on April 24 in the first meeting between the teams at the Rogers Centre.

Granderson was on base after a leadoff walk against Boston left-handed reliever Brian Johnson in the 12th inning on Friday night when Luke Maile followed with his first career walkoff shot to give the Blue Jays a 5-3 victory in the opener of a three-game series.

Maile also tied the game with his first homer of the season against Chris Sale in the seventh inning and had a RBI single in the second for a three-hit, four-RBI game.

The Red Sox, who won the final two games of the three-game series April 24-26, will be trying to match that feat in this three-game series starting Saturday.

Boston will start left-hander David Price (2-4, 5.11 ERA) against Toronto right-hander Marco Estrada (2-2, 5.21).

Price missed his scheduled start Wednesday against the New York Yankees because of a mild case of carpal tunnel syndrome. He threw a bullpen session Thursday and he was declared fit to start Saturday in Toronto.

He was asked if his condition might be the result playing video games.

"If that was the cause of the problem, then it started back in 1997, when I got my first PlayStation when I was 12 years old," Price said. "I've always played video games, played it with my teammates in the offseason, at the field, at the hotel. That's kind of my generation. That's what we do. If I need to shut down video games and pick up a new hobby, then so be it. But I do not think that's the cause."

Price was a midseason acquisition from the Detroit Tigers by the Blue Jays in 2015 and helped boost them into the postseason, where they lost the American League Championship Series to the Kansas City Royals. He signed as a free agent with the Red Sox that offseason.

Price is 17-3 with a 2.40 ERA in 26 career appearances (25 starts) against the Blue Jays. In 16 career starts at the Rogers Centre, he is 11-1 with a 3.31 ERA.

Estrada allowed no runs over six innings Sunday in a no-decision against the Tampa Bay Rays, a 2-1 Toronto win at Tropicana Field. But he had allowed four earned runs twice and five earned runs twice in his previous four starts as he struggles to find his form.

Estrada is just one of the Toronto starters who have struggled this season. J.A. Happ, who has been one of their more dependable starters, allowed seven runs in 3 1/3 innings Thursday in the 9-3 loss to the Mariners and has lost two straight outings.

Marcus Stroman is 0-5 with a 7.71 ERA and was placed on the disabled list Friday with fatigue in his right shoulder. His start to spring training also was delayed because of a sore shoulder.

"It just got to a point where it became very frustrating, physically and mentally," Stroman told reporters before the game Friday. "Just at a point where I felt like I had to work at 115-120 percent when I would normally be working at 80-85 percent to do what I do out there. Just a collective decision between me and the staff, to take a step back, do what I need to do for my shoulder, get my emotions and everything in sync, to get back to myself. I haven't been myself out there at all."

The Blue Jays also optioned left-hander Tim Mayza to Triple-A Buffalo on Friday. Right-handers Joe Biagini and Sam Gaviglio were recalled from Buffalo.

Gaviglio pitched three innings of relief Friday, allowing one hit and hitting a batter while striking out three over three innings to earn his first win for the Blue Jays.

Biagini will probably start for Toronto Sunday in the finale of the series against the Red Sox. In two starts with Toronto this season, he is 0-1 with an 8.10 ERA and in four starts at Buffalo is 0-3 with a 4.57 ERA.

Meanwhile, Boston's slumping center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. sat out his third straight game is expected to play Saturday. "We'll see where it goes," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said.

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