With an offense that remains in a lull, the Boston Red Sox hope they can count on Ryan Dempster to beat the Toronto Blue Jays for the second time in 10 days.
Meanwhile, Toronto can claim just its second series win with a victory Sunday at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox (22-15) have lost seven of nine after Saturday's 3-2 defeat as Clay Buchholz was denied in his second bid for a seventh win. Buchholz gave up two runs with six hits over eight innings, but Mark Buehrle countered with his best outing of the year, going seven innings while limiting Boston to one run and five hits.
Adam Lind provided the go-ahead home run in the top of the ninth after Toronto squandered a 2-0 lead. The Blue Jays, though, also took much better advantage of their chances, going 2 for 4 with runners in scoring position compared to Boston going 0 for 11.
"Both guys settled in and pitched extremely well on both sides," Boston manager John Farrell said. "Seemingly, after the second inning, Buehrle really settled into a very good rhythm. As we know he works extremely fast. Lived on the edge the whole game."
The Red Sox are homerless in three straight games and averaging 3.2 runs over the last 10 compared to 5.4 in the first 27 contests. David Ortiz is 1 for 17 in four games after hitting safely in each of his first 15 with four home runs.
While Dempster (2-3, 2.93 ERA), a native Canadian, held the Blue Jays to one run and four hits over six innings in a 3-1 win at Toronto on May 2, Boston's defense failed him his last time out. He was charged with four runs - two earned - five hits and one walk over seven innings as Pedro Ciriaco committed consecutive errors in the eighth in a 6-1 loss to Minnesota on Tuesday.
"I mean, that's your job as the starting pitcher," Dempster told the team's website. "You go out there and try to do that. So I was happy with that -- I just wish I could have pitched a little better and given us a chance to win the ballgame."
After Buehrle's strong performance Saturday, the Blue Jays (14-24) must rely on a spot starter Sunday.
Right-hander Chad Jenkins was recalled Saturday from Double-A as outfielder Rajai Davis was placed on the 15-day disabled list. Brandon Morrow was scratched from this start due to soreness in his back and neck.
Jenkins has made just one minor league start this year after a shoulder injury delayed the start of his season. The right-hander went 1-3 with a 4.50 ERA in 13 games last season for Toronto, starting three.
"The manager called me in the office last night and was like, 'Hey, you're going back up,'" Jenkins told the team's official website. "To be honest, I was pretty surprised."
Boston received bad news Saturday as closer Joel Hanrahan will require season-ending surgery on his right forearm, with the procedure likely taking place next week. Toronto closer Casey Janssen converted his 10th save in as many opportunities Saturday despite giving up a leadoff double.
Edwin Encarnacion has been baffled by Dempster, going 1 for 14 (.071) against him.
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|May 11, 2013||Rajai Davis||15-Day DL||Strained oblique|
|May 10, 2013||Rajai Davis||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained oblique|
|May 08, 2013||J.A. Happ||15-Day DL||Head contusion|
|April 29, 2013||Josh Johnson||15-Day DL||Right triceps inflammation|
|April 22, 2013||Maicer Izturis||Day-to-Day||Sore hamstring|
|April 14, 2013||Sergio Santos||15-Day DL||Right triceps strain|
|Boston Red Sox|
|May 07, 2013||Joel Hanrahan||60-Day DL||Right forearm strain|
|May 07, 2013||Will Middlebrooks||Day-to-Day||Left game - Right side soreness|
|May 07, 2013||David Ross||Day-to-Day||Left game - Knee injury|
|May 06, 2013||Joel Hanrahan||Day-to-Day||Left game - right arm strain|
|April 29, 2013||Andrew Bailey||15-Day DL||Right bicep soreness|
|April 20, 2013||Shane Victorino||Day-to-Day||Left game - lower back tightness|
BOSTON (AP) -- Jose Bautista looks comfortable in the No. 2 slot in the Toronto Blue Jays' batting order.
Bautista hit two of Toronto's five home runs, and the Blue Jays beat the Boston Red Sox 12-4 Sunday to take two of three in the weekend series.
"You get three or four runs ahead," Bautista said, "that's when some guys come out and are able to take some big hacks and we get the types of results we got today."
Bautista batted second for the second straight day after hitting in his usual No. 3 slot through his first 31 games. He went 2 for 3 with a walk Sunday and is 4 for 7 with two homers and a pair of walks batting second.
Different spot. Same approach.
"Pitchers know who I am, and I know who they are, and I know how they're going to try to get me out," he said. "If they execute, they get me out, and if I execute, I'm probably going to hit a ball hard somewhere."
Bautista hit 54 homers in 2010 and 43 a year later, then dropped to 27 last season as a wrist injury caused him to miss 70 of the final 72 games. He entered Sunday's game hitting just .236 with seven home runs.
"He'll get on his rolls," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "When it's all said and done, he's going to have a great year for us. Maybe this is the start of something? We'll find out."
Emilio Bonifacio , Edwin Encarnacion and Brett Lawrie also homered for the Blue Jays, who have won just seven of their last 20 and are last in the AL East at 15-24. They finished a 4-3 trip.
"It's a great way to bounce back because we were playing pretty bad," Bautista said. "It's good to just be playing good baseball. We're playing way better baseball than when we were struggling and that's a bright spot for sure."
Chad Jenkins (1-0) got his second major league win and first since Oct. 2, allowing two runs and seven hits in five innings-plus. It was just the fourth big league start and 14th appearance for Jenkins, who missed most of spring training and the start of the season with shoulder inflammation.
"To see the guys come out and put up that kind of run support, it really makes it easier on me, knowing I've got a little bit of wiggle room to work with," Jenkins said. "Last night we got clutch hits, and then today they were just pounding balls left and right, and that was awesome to watch."
Mike Napoli and Pedro Ciriaco homered for Boston, which has lost eight of 10 following a 20-8 start under new manager John Farrell .
"I know it's a cliche, but things are evening out," Farrell said.
Ryan Dempster (2-4) gave up six runs and seven hits - including three homers - in five innings, his shortest start this season. The British Columbia native had been 6-0 against Toronto and Montreal in his big league career.
Boston's Shane Victorino crashed into right-field wall in the fourth while catching Colby Rasmus ' drive and fell to the ground, writhing in pain. After being attended to by team personnel, Victorino remained in the game but left after the sixth inning and was taken to a hospital for further evaluation.
"Oh man," said Toronto reliever Darren Oliver , who was in the bullpen at the time. "He hit that wall hard."
Munenori Kawasaki hit a two-run single in the second, and Bautista sent Dempster's first pitch of the third into the seats above the Green Monster in left.
"I'm sure he didn't want to throw it in that spot," Bautista said of Dempster's fastball. "He was painting away on me all game long, and that ball crept up to where I like it more - over the heart of the plate, middle in - and I was able to connect."
Bonifacio hit a two-run homer in the fourth for a 5-0 lead, his first home run since last July 23 for Miami.
Napoli led off the fourth with his seventh homer, and Encarnacion homered in the fifth to make it 6-1. Lawrie homered off Andrew Miller leading off the sixth and Bautista hit a two-run drive off Clayton Mortensen later in the inning for a 10-1 lead, Bautista's ninth homer this year. He has 18 career multihomer games.
"He left it up in the zone where offspeed pitches get punished," Bautista said, "and I was able to connect on that as well."
Ciriaco opened the eighth with his first home run since Aug. 26.
"I think we've got a number of guys dealing with frustration right now," Farrell said. "The key for us is maintaining our level of preparation and our work routine. Those are the two things that we can control. I know with the attitude of this group, we're going to continue to work, but we're getting tested right now. There's no question about it."
NOTES: Red Sox DH David Ortiz had a scheduled day off after playing in 19 games since returning from an injury April 20. He is in a 1-for-17 slump after hitting .414 with four homers and 17 RBIs through his first 15 games. ... Bautista has reached safely in 18 of his last 19 games. ... Farrell said RHP Andrew Bailey , on the DL with a right biceps strain, likely will throw off a mound Tuesday and the team then will decide whether he will require a rehab stint. ... Boston C David Ross was placed on the seven-day concussion DL. The team recalled C Ryan Lavarnway from Triple-A Pawtucket. ... Ciriaco entered as a defensive replacement in the seventh, making his first big league appearance at first base.