Toronto Blue Jays look to bury Red Sox in AL East race

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Jun 28, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval (48) celebrates with designated hitter David Ortiz (34) after hitting a solo home during the second inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Across the Diamond: Boston Red Sox

Now sitting at 34-43 and occupying the basement of the AL East, the Red Sox haven’t been able to find any level of balance. The rotation’s horrendous start torpedoed any efforts from the lineup, but now that the rotation is beginning to level off somewhat, the batting order is running into problems.

Dustin Pedroia has been placed on the 15-day DL with a hamstring injury and Hanley Ramirez is headed for an MRI on his hand, which could keep him out for some or all of the Toronto series. Shane Victorino won’t complete his rehab assignment by the end of the series either, so John Farrell has been forced to patch together a lineup that gives little support to the big bat of David Ortiz.

Big Papi has struggled to a .233 average early on, but three home runs in the past week may be signalling a subtle turnaround for the slugger. Mookie Betts has been the star of the show offensively, impacting games with the bat and on the bases, while Brock Holt and Xander Bogaerts have played well respectively. When he’s not lurking on Instagram, Pablo Sandoval has underwhelmed with just six home runs and 24 RBI entering play on Sunday.

Next: Game 1: Dickey kicks off the series