Toronto Blue Jays News

Surging Blue Jays gunning for the Red Sox: Full preview

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May 28, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista (19) celebrates with first base coach Tim Leiper (34) after hitting a run scoring single against Boston Red Sox in the eighth inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
May 28, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista (19) celebrates with first base coach Tim Leiper (34) after hitting a run scoring single against Boston Red Sox in the eighth inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /

Toronto Blue Jays (29-26)  vs.
Boston Red Sox (32-22)

Friday, June 3rd  –  Sunday, June 5th

How quickly things have changed. The Toronto Blue Jays enter play on Friday night in Boston just three and a half games back of the Red Sox in the American League East, having gone 7-2 in their recent stretch of divisional play.

This includes a 2-1 series win over the Red Sox last weekend and a three-game sweep of the New York Yankees at home, bringing the Blue Jays to 29-26.

Despite still sitting atop the division, the Sox have been playing closer to .500 ball of late and are coming off back-to-back losses against the Baltimore Orioles.

Following this series, the Jays will face the Orioles from June 9th to 12th then not face another divisional opponent until Baltimore returns on July 29th.

Across the Diamond: Boston Red Sox

Boston continues to be the league’s top offensive team, sitting in first place with 324 runs scored. They’ve done this with a .296 team batting average that puts them 19 points above the second-place Pittsburgh Pirates and a .360 on-base percentage that is the best in baseball.

Mookie Betts has been the star this week, hitting five home runs with seven RBIs on Tuesday and Wednesday alone. This moves Betts’ average to .287 and he’s now closing in on David Ortiz for the team lead in home runs.

Big Papi’s retirement tour remains destructive as the veteran is hitting a whopping .335 with 16 long balls and 51 RBIs already. Walking almost as much as he strikes out, Ortiz’s .415 OBP has given him an OPS of 1.145.

Jackie Bradley owns a .331 average and OPS just north of 1.000 himself while Xander Bogaerts is hitting .348. Add in Dustin Pedroia and Travis Shaw swinging strong bats and the Blue Jays’ staff will be hard-pressed to find soft spots in this lineup.

No way around but through.

On to the pitching match-ups, starting with another look at an old friend.

Next: A rematch of the May 29th no-decision

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