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Boston at Toronto

Venue: Rogers Centre
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Clay Buchholz is the first Boston Red Sox pitcher in six seasons to win his first five starts.

The right-hander is the only Red Sox starter ever to win six consecutive decisions at Toronto.

Buchholz will try to extend those streaks - and become the majors' first six-game winner - on Wednesday night when the Red Sox seek to bounce back from their first defeat in six games.

After going 0-5 with a 5.62 ERA in his final eight outings of 2012, Buchholz (5-0, 1.19 ERA) is off to a brilliant start for the MLB-best Red Sox (18-8). The right-hander matched his career high for consecutive winning starts by throwing 7 2-3 innings of two-run ball in Thursday's 7-2 win over Houston.

"If he doesn't have his best stuff, he finds a way to get it done," catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia told the Red Sox' official website after Buchholz struck out 10. "... That's what Clay's able to do."

The last Red Sox starter to win his first five starts was Josh Beckett, who opened 7-0 in 2007.

"Last couple of years I've been a slow starter, so it feels good to be out there and have a little bit of confidence early on, and that helps a lot," said Buchholz, who was 7-8 with a 5.19 ERA in April heading into 2013. "Guys are playing well behind me. Things are going right."

Things couldn't have gone much better for Buchholz in his last seven starts in Toronto. He's 6-0 with a 1.27 ERA during that stretch after not earning a decision in his last start there, a 3-2 win on Sept. 15.

The Red Sox are hoping for another solid start from Buchholz north of the border after getting denied a team-record 19th April win on Tuesday, losing 9-7 in the series opener.

"They've got a quick-strike offense and they swung the bats very well tonight," said John Farrell, the Blue Jays' former manager. "They didn't miss pitches when they got them on the plate."

Edwin Encarnacion hit a pair of homers - including the first one into the upper deck at Rogers Centre since 2011 - to help Toronto (10-17) end a season-worst four-game skid and avoid its first 18-loss April.

"Winning a game like this, that's what we need right now," he said.

Wednesday's scheduled starter Mark Buehrle (1-1, 6.35) needs a victory following a rough first month with the club. In his last outing, the veteran southpaw was tagged for a season-high three homers, including a three-run shot by Robinson Cano in a 5-3 loss at Yankee Stadium on Thursday.

"That's the thing about this game that sometimes makes it frustrating," said Buehrle, 28-16 with a 3.23 ERA in 65 May starts. "They get two infield hits, and I put it right where I want to and it's three runs."

Buehrle, 6-8 with a 4.64 ERA lifetime versus Boston, better be careful where he puts the ball against David Ortiz, who is 22 for 61 (.361) with three homers and eight doubles in that matchup.

Since coming off the DL nine games ago, Ortiz has 18 hits in 36 at-bats. He hit his third homer on Tuesday and drove in a season-high four, extending his RBI streak to six.

Encarnacion is 10 for 30 with seven homers and 12 RBIs in an eight-game hitting streak, but he has one hit - a single - in 15 at-bats against Buchholz.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Probable Starters

Clay Buchholz, RHP
2013 stats
37.2 Innings Pitched 28.1
5-0 Wins-Losses 1-1
1.19 Earned Run Average 6.35
13 Walks 6
39 Strikeouts 19
106 Pitches Per Start 99
Career vs. opponent
93.1 Innings Pitched 118.1
8-4 Wins-Losses 6-8
2.60 Earned Run Average 4.64

Mark Buehrle, LHP
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Boston5th AL East5975.44018 ½ 3-7 W 1
Toronto3rd AL East6767.50010 ½ 3-7 L 1
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Mark Buehrle
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Gomes136012.462
Ross52001.400
Middlebrooks52001.400
Ellsbury104001.400
Victorino114101.364
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Clay Buchholz
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Izturis219043.429
Lind3511217.314
Bautista267127.269
Rasmus61001.167
Davis142033.143
 

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Game Odds
AwayLineHomeLine
Boston -130 Toronto 120
Injuries
Boston
PlayerInjury
X. BogaertsConcussion
R. DempsterNeck
S. VictorinoBack
Toronto
PlayerInjury
M. IzturisKnee
D. JohnsonHamstring
B. LawrieBack
B. MorrowFinger
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 4TORNYY 7-3Tanaka McGowan 
Apr 5TORTOR 4-0Dickey Pineda 
Apr 6TORNYY 6-4Sabathia Hutchison 
Jun 17NYYNYY 3-1Tanaka Stroman 
Jun 18NYYNYY 7-3Whitley Buehrle 
Jun 19NYYNYY 6-4Phelps Hutchison 
Jun 23TORTOR 8-3Stroman Whitley 
Jun 24TORTOR 7-6Janssen Warren 
Jun 25TORNYY 5-3Kuroda Hutchison 
Jul 25NYYNYY 6-4Kuroda Buehrle 
Jul 26NYYTOR 6-4Hutchison Kelley 
Jul 27NYYTOR 5-4Sanchez Robertson 
Aug 29TORNYY 6-3Capuano Buehrle 
Aug 30TOR 1:07 PM EDT  
Aug 31TOR 1:07 PM EDT  
Sep 18NYY 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 19NYY 7:05 PM EDT  
Sep 20NYY   
Sep 21NYY 1:05 PM EDT