Red Sox-Blue Jays Preview

The Associated Press

Not even a game against a short-handed team they've dominated recently could give the Toronto Blue Jays a rare win this month.

R.A. Dickey will try to help the Blue Jays avoid dropping to .500 for the first time in nearly 3 1/2 months with another strong outing against the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night.

Toronto (66-65) fell to 6-15 in August with a 4-3 defeat in 10 innings in Monday's series opener. The Blue Jays totaled two singles in the first eight innings before scoring three runs in the ninth.

Edwin Encarnacion doubled in the tying runs but Yoenis Cespedes hit the go-ahead RBI single after Brock Holt stole a pair of bases to end to Boston's eight-game losing streak. Cespedes has 19 RBIs in 22 games since being acquired by the Red Sox on July 31.

Toronto had won six in a row and 10 of its previous 11 games against Boston, who played Monday without David Ortiz and Xander Bogaerts.

''We have run into some good pitching, but still we're a team that should score runs and we haven't been doing that,'' said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, whose team is batting .178 with nine runs in the last four games. "Disappointing, definitely disappointing."

Boston manager John Farrell hopes Ortiz can return from a bruised right foot Tuesday in his club's attempt at a season-high fifth consecutive road win. The Red Sox slugger has 37 career home runs at Rogers Centre, his most in any opposing stadium.

"Hopefully with another 24 hours, there's a likelihood he would come back (Tuesday)," Farrell told MLB's official website.

Ortiz has four hits in his last 10 at-bats against Dickey, including a pair of home runs.

Bogaerts was placed on the seven-day concussion list Sunday.

"It's been getting better. I feel good. I just need to make sure I am fully healthy when I come back," Bogaerts told MLB's official website. "I'm just listening to the training staff. I've never dealt with something like this."

Dickey will try to improve to 4-0 this season versus Boston (57-74) and help the Blue Jays avoid dropping to .500 for the first time since they were 21-21 on May 15. They were 10 games above on July 31.

Dickey (10-12, 4.08 ERA), who has a 2.79 ERA in his previous three matchups with Boston, gave up one run and three hits while striking out a season-high 10 in his most recent one, a 14-1 rout July 28.

The right-hander gave up five runs in 5 2-3 innings Wednesday but earned his first win in four starts, a 9-5 victory in Milwaukee. He allowed a combined four runs in 12 innings in his prior two outings.

Rubby De La Rosa (4-5, 3.69) is 0-2 with an 8.10 ERA in his two starts against Toronto this season but had a respectable performance in a 4-2 loss July 29, giving up three runs in six innings.

He allowed two runs in 6 2-3 innings in a 2-0 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday after getting charged with six runs in four innings in a 10-7 win over Houston on Aug. 16.

"I thought he was really strong early on," Farrell said. "He settled in and was very good. I thought he pitched well enough to win on most nights."

Juan Francisco is 4 for 5 against De La Rosa this season with one homer, one triple and one double

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