Blue Jays-Red Sox Preview
The last time the Toronto Blue Jays won six in a row at Fenway Park, Anthony Gose wasn't even born yet.
The rookie outfielder may play a part in equaling that feat.
Gose looks to build on his best performance of the season when the Blue Jays go for their longest road winning streak against the last-place Boston Red Sox in 23 years Sunday.
Toronto (63-75) has won five straight at Fenway Park, and sweeping this three-game series would give the club its longest run there since 1989.
Gose was born one year later, but he kept the Blue Jays streaking there in Saturday's 9-2 victory, getting two hits including his first career homer while collecting five RBIs and two runs. His teammates had a little fun with him afterward, leaving a dirty, signed baseball in his locker as a memento.
"I'm pretty sure it was fake and they wrote on it," Gose said. "I know I got a fake one, but that's good enough for me."
Gose, one of the Jays' top prospects, may be back in the lineup since he's 4 for 7 over his last two starts to raise his average to .211 in 32 games this year.
Toronto is expected to give the ball to Carlos Villanueva (7-5, 3.42), and he's 1-5 with a 4.12 ERA in seven starts after winning four in a row with a 1.93 ERA.
The right-hander's latest start was his worst of the season, but he threw four scoreless innings before giving up six runs in the next 2 2-3 of a 12-0 loss to Baltimore on Tuesday.
"Looking back on this one, just trying to get Carlos extended deeper into a game," manager John Farrell told the team's official website. "One of the things we've got to take a longer look at, is just how deep he can get into ballgames consistently."
Villanueva showed that ability at Boston on July 21, yielding three runs and four hits in 6 1-3 innings of a 7-3 victory. However, he's lost all three of his road starts since while posting a 5.60 ERA.
The Red Sox have dropped 10 of 11 to fall into the AL East cellar, one game back of the Blue Jays.
The dismal spiral only adds fuel to the speculation manager Bobby Valentine will be replaced after the season, and the remaining Fenway faithful who waited out Saturday's rain delay could be heard chanting, "Fire Bobby."
Valentine is scheduled to turn to Clay Buchholz (11-5, 4.47), who is looking to continue his success against the Blue Jays.
The right-hander is 8-3 with a 2.47 ERA in 12 starts against them, winning his last five decisions in six games with a 1.50 ERA since a loss Sept. 29, 2009.
Buchholz was impressive in his only season meeting against Toronto, yielding two runs with seven strikeouts in eight innings of a 7-2 road victory June 1.
He enters this meeting with an 0-2 record and 6.52 ERA in three starts, all of them Red Sox losses.
A big inning cost Buchholz on Monday, giving up four runs - three earned - in the fourth before finishing with eight strikeouts in seven innings of a 4-1 loss at Seattle.