Romero looks to avoid matching the longest losing streak in Blue Jays history by capitalizing on Valentine's collapsing Boston Red Sox on Saturday night.
Toronto (62-75) is tied with Boston (63-76) at the bottom of the AL East as both teams have been besieged by injuries. Valentine, meanwhile, continues to be at the center of the Red Sox's struggles.
Criticism of the manager took a bizarre turn earlier this week when he threatened to punch a talk-show host for asking him if he "checked out."
The incident added more fuel to speculation this will be his only season in Boston, which has lost nine of 10 following Friday's 7-5 defeat to open this three-game set.
Speculation has Farrell as Valentine's possible replacement since he was the Red Sox's pitching coach from 2006-10, something that also occurred last offseason before Valentine was hired.
"I don't look at other situations because my focus is here," Farrell said. "We've got a lot of challenges ourselves with getting guys back on the field. So I can tell you this. Knowing what the Red Sox have gone through, the amount of players that they've lost to injury, I can empathize with Bobby."
Farrell is certainly more worried about Romero (8-13, 5.85 ERA), who has already set the franchise record for the longest single-season losing streak while going 0-12 with a 7.98 ERA in 13 starts.
Another defeat will match the overall mark set by Tom Underwood bridging 1978 and '79, while making him the first pitcher to endure such a slide during a single season since Jose Lima with Houston in 2000.
Romero's stretch continued Sunday, getting pulled before he could record an out in the second after surrendering seven runs and eight hits in a 9-4 defeat to Tampa Bay.
"Going through something like this, I would never wish upon anyone," Romero said. "It's tough. I've had advice from a lot of people, even from opponents, the guy who pitched against me and their all-star third baseman, a lot of guys on other teams.
"(They say) 'keep going, keep moving forward, you can't dwell on the past. It's going to turn around.'"
Romero has a 7.12 ERA while going 5-7 in 15 career starts against the Red Sox. That includes getting tagged for nine runs and seven hits with six walks in three innings of a 10-4 loss at Boston to start this losing streak June 27.
The Red Sox will try to get to Romero again and snap a four-game slide to Toronto, their longest since dropping seven in a row from 2007-08.
"We're trying to come out and play winning baseball," Dustin Pedroia said. "We haven't played well the last few weeks, basically the last couple of months."
Pedroia has been doing his part, hitting .371 while hitting safely in 29 of 31 games. The second baseman had a solo homer Friday, and he has a .345 average with one homer versus Romero.
Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-4, 6.15) is expected to get the ball looking to continue his dominance of the Blue Jays.
The right-hander is 7-0 with a 3.36 ERA in 12 starts against them, winning all four decisions at home over seven outings.
Matsuzaka, however, is coming off his worst performance of the season, getting pounded for six runs and seven hits - two homers - while walking four in 3 2-3 innings of a 6-2 loss at Oakland on Sunday.
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|September 04, 2012||J.A. Happ||15-Day DL||Fractured right foot|
|August 27, 2012||Henderson Alvarez||Day-to-Day||Left game - left shin contusion|
|August 27, 2012||Aaron Laffey||Day-to-Day||Left game - left calf contusion|
|August 26, 2012||Jose Bautista||15-Day DL||Left wrist inflammation|
|August 23, 2012||David Cooper||15-Day DL||Upper back soreness|
|August 22, 2012||David Cooper||Day-to-Day||Left game - jammed neck|
|Boston Red Sox|
|September 07, 2012||Jarrod Saltalamacchia||Day-to-Day||Left game - back spasms|
|September 02, 2012||Jacoby Ellsbury||Day-to-Day||Sore right wrist|
|August 25, 2012||David Ortiz||15-Day DL||Aggravated right Achilles strain|
|August 25, 2012||Daniel Nava||15-Day DL||Sprained left wrist|
|August 24, 2012||Franklin Morales||15-Day DL||Left shoulder fatigue|
|August 20, 2012||Carl Crawford||Day-to-Day||Left elbow surgery|
BOSTON (AP) -- More than two hours of rain delays and a prank by his teammates didn't dampen Anthony Gose 's mood after his first major league homer.
Gose drove in five runs and the Toronto Blue Jays moved out of the AL East's basement by beating the free-falling Boston Red Sox 9-2 on Saturday night in a game twice delayed by rain totaling 2 hours, 3 minutes.
Gose homered in the ninth - right around midnight - and his teammates had a little fun with him afterward, leaving a dirty, signed ball in his locker.
"I'm pretty sure it was fake and they wrote on it," he said, smiling. "I know I got a fake one, but that's good enough for me."
Yunel Escobar added a solo homer to spark a five-run second inning for Toronto, which has won five straight in Fenway Park - its longest streak since winning all six meetings in 1989.
It was the first time since July 29 that the Blue Jays haven't been in last place after they won their third straight to climb over the Red Sox.
"Really however long it takes to get a win, we'll stay all night if we have to," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said in his office, with music being blasted by the players in the clubhouse. "You can't say enough of what Brad Lincoln did coming out of the bullpen."
Scott Podsednik and Ciriaco had RBI singles for Boston, which lost for the 10th time in 11 games.
With Toronto leading 5-2 and two outs in the fifth - one away from an official game - heavy rain started when Jacoby Ellsbury was at-bat. Aaron Laffey threw two balls before crew chief Jeff Nelson called for the tarp for the second time.
After a 65-minute delay, Laffey became ineligible for the victory when he was replaced by Lincoln, who got Ellsbury to ground out. Under baseball rules, the starter must go five innings to get a win.
"Every time the umpire threw a ball back to me it was getting wet," Laffey said. "You could see the glare on the ball from the rain."
Lincoln (1-0) worked 2 1-3 scoreless innings for the victory, his first with the Blue Jays since being acquired from Pittsburgh in July.
Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-5) took the loss, lasting just four outs and giving up five runs and five hits.
The Blue Jays chased Matsuzaka with the five-run fifth. Escobar belted the first pitch of the inning into the first row of seats above the Green Monster. Adeiny Hechavarria had an RBI double, Gose followed with a two-run single before Rajai Davis added a sacrifice fly. Colby Rasmus then singled and manager Bobby Valentine came out to a loud boos to lift the Japanese right-hander. Both walked off nearly together, with Valentine slightly behind, to a spattering of more boos.
At one point in ninth, there were brief chants of "Fire Bobby."
"He had a good first (inning)," Valentine said of Matsuzaka. "The first pitch of the second inning it goes over the fence, and after that he made decent pitches."
Alfredo Aceves entered after Matsuzaka and Rasmus helped end the inning by forgetting how many outs and running on a fly to center with only one out, easily getting doubled up trying to get back.
Laffey gave up two runs and four hits in 4 2-3 innings.
"You can be frustrated," Laffey said of not getting the win. "It is what it is. It's over now. They allowed me to go back after the first delay. After the break I really didn't have it."
As bad as Matsuzaka was, it wasn't his shortest start of the season. On July 2, he lasted just one inning in Oakland, allowing five runs, and the next day he was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained neck muscle.
Boston didn't have a hit until Ellsbury opened the fourth with a single, a liner over the head of shortstop Escobar.
One pitch later, the umpires called for the tarp. A few minutes after the grounds crew had it in place, the rain stopped and they took it off and got the infield ready before they had to put it on again.
This time, for longer. The delay was 58 minutes.
NOTES: Boston RHP John Lackey , recovering the entire season from ulnar collateral surgery in November, threw to live hitters for the first time, tossing early batting practice to Daniel Nava and Ivan De Jesus. ... RF Gose made a sliding grab on Mike Aviles ' foul ball near the wall to end the second. ... Toronto C J.P. Arencibia fired the ball into left field on Mauro Gomez 's strikeout when he attempted to start the process of throwing it around the infield. ... The crowd - that is, what was left in the second rain delay - cheered when the final out of the Orioles-Yankees was shown on the center-field scoreboard. Then they played John Denver's `Thank God I'm a Country Boy' - a seventh-inning stretch tradition at Camden Yards in Baltimore - over the PA.