The surging Toronto Blue Jays are still in the postseason mix after quickly getting back on track.
They'll try to make it six in a row Friday night in the first of three against the Boston Red Sox, who have had an especially rough time at home of late.Toronto (72-67) struggled through a 7-17 funk before outscoring opponents 22-9 during its winning streak. The Blue Jays swept Tampa Bay to open a six-game trek, winning 1-0 in 10 innings in Thursday's finale.Colby Rasmus delivered a pinch-hit home run as Toronto remained 4 1/2 games behind Detroit for the AL's second wild-card spot."It feels good, but I wasn't going up with the intent to try and show anything that I haven't shown before," Rasmus said. "I just wanted to go up there and try and help my team."Toronto has taken 11 of 16 from the Red Sox this year, including all six games in Boston by a combined 44-14 score.The Red Sox (61-79) have been outscored 46-21 during an eight-game losing streak at Fenway Park, their longest since a 12-game skid in 1994. They return home after back-to-back losses to the New York Yankees resulted in a 5-5 road trip.David Ortiz homered twice Thursday, but Koji Uehara gave up two solo shots in the ninth as the Red Sox fell 5-4 in walkoff fashion. Uehara has now blown three consecutive save chances for the first time in his career and owns a 19.29 ERA in his last six appearances."It'll be a situation where I'll talk with Koji first, what our plan will be, whether that's extended rest, whether that's the potential of shutting him down," manager John Farrell told MLB's official website.While Ortiz is batting .476 with five homers and 14 RBIs over a 13-game stretch at home, he's hitless in eight at-bats against Drew Hutchison (9-11, 4.47 ERA). The right-hander struck out nine over seven innings of one-hit ball to beat the Yankees 2-0 on Saturday."I probably feel the best I have all year," he said. "I've been able to get into a good rhythm within my delivery, stay within my delivery, and I think that's shown. ... Obviously, every time I go out there, I expect to go deep into the game and be successful."Hutchison is 2-0 with a 0.83 ERA over a three-start stretch at home, but he's 1-5 with a 7.65 mark in his last seven road outings.Hutchinson has mixed results in two appearances against the Red Sox this year. He threw 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball to win 6-4 at Boston on May 21 before giving up six runs over a season-low 2 2/3 innings in a 14-1 home loss July 21.Boston's Allen Webster (3-3, 6.69) is coming off a pair of ugly defeats. The right-hander gave up six runs and failed to make it through five innings in both, including Saturday's 7-0 loss at Tampa Bay."We've been working hard between each start, working on mechanics, doing dry work and stuff," he said. "Just the last two games haven't worked out for me."Webster surrendered four runs over six innings in his only appearance against the Blue Jays in June 2013.Toronto's Melky Cabrera, mired in a 3-for-29 slump, has gone 11 for his last 26 at Fenway with four homers and nine RBIs.Dustin Pedroia could return for Boston after missing the last five games with concussion-like symptoms. He's hit safely in five straight against the Blue Jays, going 9 for 22 with two homers and seven RBIs.
Edwin Encarnación's home run in the eighth inning at Fenway Park was calculated at 457 feet. It is the longest home run by a visiting player at Fenway Park since Josh Hamilton hit one calculated at 469 feet on April 17, 2012.
Edwin Encarnación's home run Friday was calculated at 457 feet, his 10th calculated at 450 feet or more since ESPN began tracking home runs in 2006. He is one of 17 players to accomplish this feat.