Major League Baseball
Preview
Toronto at Boston
When: 7:10 PM ET, Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Where: Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts

Although no trade has been announced, the Boston Red Sox scratched ace left-hander Jon Lester from Wednesday's series finale at home against the Toronto Blue Jays. Lester is heavily rumored to be on the trading block as contract extensions have stalled and his team has continued to sink, so the club is avoiding any issues that might arise from another start prior to Thursday's trade deadline. Brandon Workman will be recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket to take Lester's spot.

While the Lester drama dominates the scene at Fenway Park, the Red Sox search for some kind of spark amid a 1-7 swoon. The Blue Jays took Tuesday's encounter 4-2, improving to 5-0 in Boston this year and winning for the seventh time in eight games overall -- including five victories versus the Red Sox. Toronto has pulled within 2 1/2 games of first-place Baltimore in the American League East.

TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, SNET (Toronto), NESN (Boston)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Blue Jays LH Mark Buehrle (10-7, 3.19 ERA) vs. Red Sox RH Brandon Workman (1-3, 4.13)

Buehrle's ERA has risen more than a run since the early portions of June as his remarkable early-season success has turned into a struggle. He gave up six runs on nine hits in a season-low three innings at the New York Yankees on Friday to lose his sixth straight decision and raise his July ERA to 7.20. Buehrle was pounded by the Red Sox at home April 25, but rebounded to allow only two runs in seven innings to win at Boston on May 22.

Workman was 1-3 with a 4.50 ERA in eight starts earlier this season for the Red Sox, lasting seven innings in two of his last three appearances with the major-league club. He has posted a 6-1 record with a 4.45 ERA in 10 starts at Pawtucket. The 25-year-old, who has a 3.66 ERA in 15 career games at home, allowed one run in a three-inning relief appearance against Toronto last season.

WALK-OFFS

1. The Blue Jays have outscored the Red Sox by a 38-13 margin in Boston this year.

2. Red Sox 1B Mike Napoli has missed two of the last three games with swelling in his left ring finger.

3. Toronto LF Melky Cabrera is 10-for-26 with nine RBIs during a six-game hitting streak.

PREDICTION: Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 4
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Toronto 58-50 W4 30-23 28-27 25-19 13-13 11-12 9-6
Boston 48-59 L2 26-28 22-31 18-29 14-15 10-9 6-6
Last Meeting
Toronto Boston
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
7/29/14 TOR 4 BOS 2 .333 1 .841 .206 1 .623
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Toronto M. Cabrera .388 19 1.220
Boston X. Bogaerts .372 16 1.014
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Toronto M. Cabrera 4 12 14
Boston D. Ortiz 5 6 10
Pitching ERA Avg K
Toronto 4.08 .306 95
Boston 6.06 .258 71
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Toronto M. Cabrera .311 137 .844
Boston D. Pedroia .274 115 .709
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Toronto E. Encarnacion 26 57 70
Boston D. Ortiz 25 42 77
Pitching ERA Avg K
Toronto 4.08 .264 788
Boston 3.91 .246 846