(Sports Network) - Knuckleball specialist R.A. Dickey tries to rebound from a
season-opening loss when he takes the mound for the Toronto Blue Jays on
Sunday in the rubber match of a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox.
Dickey, last season's NL Cy Young Award winner, made his first AL appearance
in four seasons in Tuesday's 4-1 loss to the Cleveland Indians. He allowed
five hits and four runs -- three earned -- with four walks and as many
strikeouts in six frames.
Over his career, Dickey is 2-1 with a 4.09 ERA in nine games (3 starts) when
facing the Red Sox.
Jon Lester, who is coming off a season-starting 8-2 win over the Yankees,
heads to the hill for the Red Sox. The lefty pitched five solid innings and
surrendered a pair of runs on five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts to
earn the victory.
Lester is 11-7 with a 3.86 ERA in 22 career games against Toronto. He's
limited the Blue Jays to a .204 batting average in his career, which is his
second-lowest mark against any American League club. Lester went 1-3 against
the Jays in 2012, but today has a chance to give manager John Farrell a series
victory against his former team.
On Saturday, Colby Rasmus hit a three-run homer and J.A. Happ pitched
scoreless ball into the sixth as Toronto downed Boston, 5-0.
J.P. Arencibia added a two-run blast for the Blue Jays, who shook off a 6-4
loss in Friday's series opener and won without the services of outfielder Jose
Bautista, shelved for the second straight game with a sore right ankle.
Happ (1-0) allowed just one hit and three walks with six strikeouts over 5 1/3
"Happ was just dynamite," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said."He started
throwing his changeup more and that was a big pitch for him."
Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia were the only players to record a hit for
the Red Sox, who were blanked for the first time in 2013.
John Lackey (0-1) made his first start since the end of 2011 due to Tommy John
surgery, but lasted only 4 1/3 innings before leaving with what was diagnosed
as a right biceps strain. The 34-year-old exited after serving up five hits
and two runs with eight strikeouts and one walk.
"After going a year and a half of getting to this point and having to do it
all over again, yeah, it scared the crap out of me," said Lackey. "But it was
a serious cramp. It's not the elbow. It's sore but we're hoping its not
Melky Cabrera is one hit away from 1,000 in his career.
Toronto was 11-7 last season versus the Red Sox.
The Sports Network