Blue Jays-Red Sox Preview

It's been four seasons since Mark Buehrle defeated the Boston Red Sox.

Buehrle is also winless in his last five outings at Fenway Park as he tries to help the Toronto Blue Jays earn a split of this four-game set Sunday.

The left-hander began his career 4-0 against the Red Sox (49-34) but is 0-4 with a 4.84 ERA against them in seven outings since the start of 2010, including 0-1 with a 3.95 ERA in two this year.

He hasn't won in Boston since 2004, going 0-3 with a 7.04 ERA in his last five starts there although he only yielded one run over seven-plus innings May 11 in a 3-2 victory. His 5.02 ERA at Fenway is his third-worst in any AL ballpark.

David Ortiz is hitting .358 in 67 at-bats against Buehrle (4-5, 4.73 ERA) while Dustin Pedroia is 9 for 27. Both are 2 for 6 against him in 2013.

One hitter Buehrle has never faced is Jose Iglesias, who is 6 for 16 against Toronto (40-40) and hitting .402 in June for the AL's second-best mark.

Buehrle fell to 1-4 with a 5.79 ERA in eight road starts after allowing four runs and walking a season-high four over five innings Tuesday in a 5-1 defeat to Tampa Bay.

The Blue Jays could use a long outing from the veteran since their bullpen has been forced to work 14 innings in the first three games of this series.

Toronto ended Boston's win streak at four with a 6-2 victory Saturday behind Jose Bautista's 21st career multihomer game. Bautista hit the 200th of his career in the sixth and added a tiebreaking two-run shot in the eighth.

"Any time you hit two home runs in close ballgames I have to give it to that,'' manager John Gibbons said. "Homers win.''

Bautista had been slumping with a .136 average since his last multihit effort June 15 at Texas, but Red Sox manager John Farrell knows that the slugger is always capable of breaking out after managing him the two previous years.

"Very good player," Farrell said. "Obviously capable of hitting balls out of the ballpark every time he steps in the box.''

The Red Sox have recorded at least nine hits over eight straight games while batting .355, but went 3 for 13 with runners in scoring position Saturday.

"We're looking for anyone to score," Farrell said. "We left some opportunities out there."

Boston was much more efficient in going 12 for 25 with runners in scoring position in taking the first two games of this series.

Ryan Dempster (5-8, 4.15) will start for the Red Sox in search of a second straight win after yielding two runs in six innings in Tuesday's 11-4 rout of Colorado. He received two total runs of support in losing his previous two outings.

"The wins come as a team more than an individual," Dempster said. "That's all I care about is that when I start, we win the game."

The right-hander has allowed 17 homers to rank among baseball's highest totals and has given up four in two starts versus Toronto this year - all against different hitters. He's 1-1 with a 5.73 ERA in those outings.