MLB

Sat, Jun 29, 2013 - 4:05 PM ET
 

Blue Jays-Red Sox Preview

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The Boston Red Sox have been piling up hits of late.

They'll look to keep turning them into wins as they go for a fifth straight victory Saturday against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park.

Boston (49-33) has posted double-digit hit totals in six of its last seven games, batting .365 with 25 extra-base hits. The Red Sox have been particularly impressive during the current four-game win streak, hitting .436 with runners in scoring position while averaging 7.5 runs.

They continued the hit parade Friday night with 15 in a 7-5 victory over the Blue Jays.

Boston might have to carry on without Stephen Drew, who has three triples and two doubles over the last four games. The shortstop left Friday's game with a tight right hamstring and is day-to-day, according to manager John Farrell.

Dustin Pedroia, meanwhile, had three hits and is 12 for 21 (.571) over the past five games. Jacoby Ellsbury recorded his 15th multihit performance in 26 games, a span in which he's batting .383.

Boston has been particularly hot at home, winning 14 of 18 while batting .319. Ellsbury has hit .414 over his last 13 home games, Pedroia has batted .374 at Fenway Park this season and David Ortiz is batting .351 during a nine-game hitting streak there.

Esmil Rogers (3-3, 3.46 ERA) likely isn't looking forward to facing this Boston lineup. The right-hander has made four appearances against the Red Sox in 2013, all out of the bullpen, and has posted a 23.14 ERA against them. Boston is hitting .462 off Rogers this season with two home runs in 2 1-3 innings.

Rogers, who joined Toronto's starting rotation at the end of May, had surrendered three home runs in his first 50 innings of the season entering Monday. That's when he gave up three straight in the second inning against Tampa Bay, ultimately yielding four runs in six innings of a 4-1 loss.

"I think I lost a little bit of my confidence out there, a little scared to throw my breaking pitch," Rogers told the team's official website. "I don't know why something like that was coming out of my mind. I'll learn about that moment and say it's not going to happen again."

Felix Doubront (4-3, 4.33), meanwhile, hopes the Red Sox's success at the plate carries over for one more day. The left-hander has only one win since April, due in part to an offense that has provided him with 16 runs of support over his last eight starts - he has a 2.89 ERA in that span. Doubront did not get a decision Sunday, allowing three runs - two earned - in five innings of a 7-5 loss at Detroit.

He has not fared well in his last three starts against the Blue Jays, going 0-2 with a 7.80 ERA. Doubront was tagged for nine hits in five innings at Toronto on April 5, yielding three runs in a 6-4 win.

Colby Rasmus has a .385 average against Doubront, including a double, two triples and a home run in 13 at-bats.

Toronto (39-40) has lost four of five while batting .187, but could take some encouragement after coming from five runs down to briefly tie Friday's game.

"What makes it tough is we came back and tied it," manager John Gibbons said, "but it's never easy playing catch-up and that's what we've had to do."

Jose Reyes recorded his first hit since returning from a sprained left ankle. Adam Lind, previously mired in a 6-for-35 slump, recorded an RBI single. Edwin Encarnacion hit his fifth home run in 10 games and is now third in the majors with 23.

Tagged: Red Sox, Blue Jays, Esmil Rogers, Felix Doubront

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