Boston takes 4-game losing streak into matchup with Toronto

Boston Red Sox (76-69, third in the AL East) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (56-89, fourth in the AL East)

Toronto; Wednesday, 7 p.m. EDT

PITCHING PROBABLES: Red Sox: Bobby Poyner (0-0, 10.50 ERA) Blue Jays: Trent Thornton (4-9, 5.23 ERA)

LINE: Red Sox -151; over/under is 10 runs

BOTTOM LINE: Boston enters the matchup as losers of their last four games.

The Blue Jays are 22-37 against teams from the AL East. Toronto ranks last in the MLB in hitting with a .235 batting average, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. leads the team with an average of .273.

The Red Sox are 32-35 in division play. Boston has slugged .475, good for fourth in the American League. J.D. Martinez leads the team with a .573 slugging percentage, including 69 extra-base hits and 35 home runs. The Blue Jays won the last meeting 4-3. Justin Shafer recorded his second victory and Rowdy Tellez went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs for Toronto. Josh Taylor took his second loss for Boston.

TOP PERFORMERS: Randal Grichuk leads the Blue Jays with 54 extra base hits and is batting .230. Cavan Biggio is 5-for-25 with two doubles, three home runs and five RBIs over the last 10 games for Toronto.

Rafael Devers leads the Red Sox with 83 extra base hits and is slugging .565. Mookie Betts has 13 hits and is batting .325 over the last 10 games for Boston.

LAST 10 GAMES: Blue Jays: 2-8, .191 batting average, 4.82 ERA, outscored by 24 runs

Red Sox: 3-7, .217 batting average, 4.30 ERA, outscored by nine runs

Blue Jays Injuries: Matt Shoemaker: (knee), Elvis Luciano: (elbow), Ryan Borucki: (elbow), Lourdes Gurriel Jr.: (quad), Devon Travis: (knee), Luke Maile: (oblique).

Red Sox Injuries: Steven Wright: (toe), Chris Sale: (elbow), David Price: (wrist), Heath Hembree: (elbow), Dustin Pedroia: (knee), Steve Pearce: (back), Michael Chavis: (shoulder).

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The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by Data Skrive and data from Sportradar.

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Blue Jays take 6-game slide into matchup with Rays

Toronto Blue Jays (55-88, fourth in the AL East) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (85-59, second in the AL East)

St. Petersburg, Florida; Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT

PITCHING PROBABLES: Blue Jays: Jacob Waguespack (4-3, 3.97 ERA) Rays: Tyler Glasnow (6-1, 1.86 ERA)

LINE: Rays -212; over/under is 8 runs

BOTTOM LINE: Toronto enters the matchup as losers of their last six games.

The Rays are 37-29 against the rest of their division. Tampa Bay has slugged .430 this season. Oliver Drake leads the team with a mark of 1.000.

The Blue Jays have gone 21-36 against division opponents. The Toronto offence has compiled a .235 batting average as a team this season, last in the American League. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. leads the team with a average of .276. The Rays won the last meeting 5-3. Nick Anderson secured his fifth victory and Daniel Robertson went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs for Tampa Bay. Jordan Romano took his second loss for Toronto.

TOP PERFORMERS: Austin Meadows leads the Rays with 77 RBIs and is batting .287. Travis d’Arnaud is 8-for-30 with a double, three home runs and 11 RBIs over the last 10 games for Tampa Bay.

Randal Grichuk leads the Blue Jays with 62 RBIs and is batting .230. Cavan Biggio is 7-for-29 with three doubles, two home runs and four RBIs over the last 10 games for Toronto.

LAST 10 GAMES: Rays: 9-1, .277 batting average, 2.87 ERA, outscored opponents by 24 runs

Blue Jays: 2-8, .206 batting average, 4.45 ERA, outscored by 23 runs

Rays Injuries: Blake Snell: (elbow), Tyler Glasnow: (forearm), Yonny Chirinos: (finger), Jose Alvarado: (elbow), Eric Sogard: (foot), Brandon Lowe: (leg), Yandy Diaz: (foot), Travis d’Arnaud: (neck/shoulder).

Blue Jays Injuries: Matt Shoemaker: (knee), Elvis Luciano: (elbow), Ryan Borucki: (elbow), Lourdes Gurriel Jr.: (quad), Devon Travis: (knee), Luke Maile: (oblique).

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Jays reinstate Richard from injured list

ATLANTA – The Toronto Blue Jays reinstated left-hander Clayton Richard from the 10-day injured list on Monday.

Richard, who hasn’t pitched since July 13, has been limited to just 10 starts (45 1/3 innings) this season.

Richard missed the first eight weeks of the season with a stress reaction in his right knee, and the last seven weeks with a left lat strain.

The 35-year-old is 1-5 with a 5.96 earned-run average with Toronto.

The Blue Jays also announced Monday that left-hander Thomas Pannone was recalled from triple-A.

The announcements came before Toronto opened an interleague series in Atlanta Monday afternoon.

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Buchholz, Blue Jays to face Gonzales, Mariners

Toronto Blue Jays (53-79, fourth in the AL East) vs. Seattle Mariners (55-75, fifth in the AL West)

Seattle; Sunday, 4 p.m. EDT

PITCHING PROBABLES: Blue Jays: Clay Buchholz (0-2, 6.57 ERA) Mariners: Marco Gonzales (13-10, 4.30 ERA)

LINE: Mariners -133; over/under is 9 1/2 runs

BOTTOM LINE: Seattle and Toronto will face off on Sunday.

The Mariners are 28-37 on their home turf. Seattle has hit 207 home runs this season, sixth in the MLB. Daniel Vogelbach leads the team with 28, averaging one every 13.9 at-bats.

The Blue Jays have gone 28-40 away from home. Toronto ranks last in the majors in hitting with a .237 batting average, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. leads the team with an average of .278. The Blue Jays won the last meeting 7-5. Brock Stewart secured his third victory and Bo Bichette went 3-for-5 with a double, a home run and three RBIs for Toronto. Reggie McClain took his first loss for Seattle.

TOP PERFORMERS: Domingo Santana leads the Mariners with 113 hits and is batting .256. Kyle Seager is 13-for-39 with five doubles, three home runs and 13 RBIs over the last 10 games for Seattle.

Randal Grichuk leads the Blue Jays with 58 RBIs and is batting .238. Bichette has 12 hits and is batting .273 over the last 10 games for Toronto.

LAST 10 GAMES: Mariners: 6-4, .271 batting average, 4.03 ERA, outscored opponents by 17 runs

Blue Jays: 3-7, .215 batting average, 5.44 ERA, outscored by 21 runs

Mariners Injuries: Arodys Vizcaino: (shoulder), Connor Sadzeck: (elbow), Brandon Brennan: (shoulder), Chasen Bradford: (forearm/elbow), Dan Altavilla: (forearm), Austin Adams: (shoulder), Domingo Santana: (elbow), Mitch Haniger: (testicle), Braden Bishop: (neck), Ryon Healy: (back).

Blue Jays Injuries: Ryan Tepera: (elbow), Matt Shoemaker: (knee), Clayton Richard: (lat), Elvis Luciano: (elbow), Nick Kingham: (oblique), Clay Buchholz: (shoulder), Ryan Borucki: (elbow), Lourdes Gurriel Jr.: (quad), Devon Travis: (knee), Luke Maile: (oblique).

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Toronto faces Seattle, looks to build on Waguespack’s solid performance

Toronto Blue Jays (52-78, fourth in the AL East) vs. Seattle Mariners (54-74, fifth in the AL West)

Seattle; Friday, 10 p.m. EDT

PITCHING PROBABLES: Blue Jays: Trent Thornton (4-8, 5.30 ERA) Mariners: Justus Sheffield (0-0, 6.00 ERA)

BOTTOM LINE: Toronto heads into the matchup fresh off a strong showing by Jacob Waguespack. Waguespack threw seven innings, giving up zero runs on one hit with five strikeouts against Los Angeles.

The Mariners are 27-36 in home games. Seattle has hit 204 home runs this season, sixth in the American League. Daniel Vogelbach leads the club with 28, averaging one every 13.6 at-bats.

The Blue Jays are 27-39 on the road. Toronto has slugged .428 this season. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. leads the team with a mark of .477.

TOP PERFORMERS: Vogelbach leads the Mariners with 44 extra base hits and is slugging .486. Tom Murphy is 9-for-19 with a double, six home runs and 10 RBIs over the last 10 games for Seattle.

Randal Grichuk leads the Blue Jays with 111 hits and is batting .238. Bo Bichette is 12-for-44 with three doubles, three home runs and four RBIs over the last 10 games for Toronto.

LAST 10 GAMES: Mariners: 6-4, .253 batting average, 3.72 ERA, outscored opponents by 20 runs

Blue Jays: 3-7, .235 batting average, 4.77 ERA, outscored by six runs

Mariners Injuries: Arodys Vizcaino: (shoulder), Connor Sadzeck: (elbow), Felix Hernandez: (shoulder), Brandon Brennan: (right shoulder), Chasen Bradford: (forearm), Dan Altavilla: (forearm), Austin Adams: (shoulder), Domingo Santana: (elbow), Mitch Haniger: (testicle), Braden Bishop: (neck), Ryon Healy: (back).

Blue Jays Injuries: Ryan Tepera: (elbow), Matt Shoemaker: (knee), Clayton Richard: (lat), Elvis Luciano: (elbow), Nick Kingham: (oblique), Clay Buchholz: (shoulder), Ryan Borucki: (elbow), Lourdes Gurriel Jr.: (quad), Devon Travis: (knee), Luke Maile: (oblique).

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Blue Jays overpower Rangers in 3-0 win

TORONTO – Randal Grichuk was searching for solutions to his inconsistency at the plate when something finally sparked for him a few weeks ago.

While he couldn’t exactly put his finger on what that was, the Blue Jays outfielder is glad to be contributing to big team wins.

Grichuk, on his 28th birthday, homered for the second time in as many games to help Toronto topple the Texas Rangers 3-0 on Tuesday night.

“Honestly just going into the cages and feeling things out,” Grichuk said of his offensive turnaround over the last two weeks. “I’ve been so inconsistent with pre-pitch, getting to the hitting spot … just been trying to search for it and a few weeks ago now I found it.

“It could be gone tomorrow, but luckily I’ve been riding it out a few weeks ago consistently and I hope it stays for the rest of the season.”

Grichuk hit his team-leading 22nd homer of the season — a deep drive to straightaway centre field — to put Toronto up 1-0 in the second inning, and Billy McKinney and Teoscar Hernandez hit back-to-back home runs in the sixth inning to pad Toronto’s (51-72) lead.

It was the 11th time this season that Toronto had homered in consecutive at-bats — and second time in as many nights — tying a franchise record from 1999.

Grichuk is batting .323 (20 for 62) with six homers, four doubles, one triple and 13 runs batted in over his last 15 games.

“I kinda changed the way I hold the bat, pre-pitch movements, some of my timing mechanisms and I felt like I’ve been able to be consistent with those the last 2 1/2 weeks,” Grichuk said. “This game’s kinda frustrating in the aspect of one day you have it and one day you don’t. And for no reason at all you lost it.

“So I think I’ve been kinda battling to stay consistent at the plate with my stance, with my swing, with my pre-pitch movements and lately I’ve been able to be comfortable and consistent with those.”

Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo was more succinct in his assessment of Grichuk’s recent success.

“He’s locked in right now,” Montoyo said. “He feels good at the plate, he’s not chasing and he’s one of those guys who when he gets hot he gets hot.

“And he’s hot right now, he’s having great at bats.”

Danny Santana had a pair of doubles for the Rangers (59-60), supplying the visitors’ only two hits through the game’s first five innings.

“We’ve got to gather as a unit and figure out a way to solve this. This is a good hitters’ park,” said Texas manager Chris Woodward. “These guys aren’t the Houston Astros. We need to do a better job of taking advantage of situations. “

Rangers starter Lance Lynn (14-8) gave up one run and four hits with three walks and a strikeout in five innings. It was the first time since April 23 that Lynn had pitched fewer than six innings in a start.

Wilmer Font served as the opener for Toronto, allowing one hit and two walks over his two innings of work.

Left-hander Thomas Pannone (3-5) followed Font with four scoreless innings — allowing just two hits and two walks while striking out three — and Tim Mayza, Derek Law and Ken Giles kept the shutout going to give Toronto its fifth win in seven games.

Giles, making his first appearance since Aug. 7, earned his 16th save of the season.

“We mapped it out how it came out,” Montoyo said of his use of his pitching staff throughout the game. “The key was Font getting out of the first inning because we were facing a good pitcher on their side, he’s pretty nasty, he’s got good stuff. … So Font getting out of that inning kept us in the game.

“And then of course Pannone was really good, and Mayza, Law and Giles. It was good to see him out there and getting the save.”

Rougned Odor continued to be booed loudly in each of his plate appearances. Toronto fans have loudly voiced their displeasure for the Texas second baseman since he punched former Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista in the jaw during a 2016 game.

NOTES: Attendance was 22,958. … The Blue Jays cap the three-game series with a matinee Wednesday. Right-hander Sean Reid-Foley will start for Toronto while the Rangers counter with lefty Kolby Allard.

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Tanaka silences Jays offence in Yankees win

TORONTO – Masahiro Tanaka silenced the Blue Jays productive offence with a three-hitter and the New York Yankees beat Toronto 1-0 Sunday to split a four-game series.

The Blue Jays (49-71) scored 19 runs in the first three games of the series at the Rogers Centre, including 13 in back-to-back wins over the mighty Yankees (77-41) on Friday and Saturday.

Tanaka (8-6) blanked the Blue Jays with four strikeouts and never allowed a runner to reach second base in his 94-pitch (66 for strikes), eight-plus innings. He left game after surrendering a lead-off single to left from Brandon Drury.

Closer Aroldis Champman finished the game for the Yankees. He got pinch-hitter Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to hit into a double play on the 13th pitch of his at-bat. One of Guerrero’s foul balls hit off the facing of the fifth deck, 20 feet left of the left-field foul pole.

Toronto shortstop Bo Bichette drove a single into left field for his second hit of the game, but Chapman stuck out Cavan Biggio to end the game.

Blue Jays starter Trent Thornton (4-8) was perfect through four innings. He retired the first 12 batters he faced, striking out six, getting three Yankees to fly out and three more on ground-ball outs.

The powerful Yankees lineup finally touched Thornton for a run in the fifth inning. Toronto centre fielder Teoscar Hernandez misread a fly ball from Gio Urshela that dropped in front of Hernandez for a double. Urshela scored on Brett Gardner’s ground-rule double to right field.

Thornton loaded the bases in the sixth after a one-out walk to leadoff hitter D.J. LeMahieu, an infield hit from Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez getting hit in the left arm.

But Thornton escaped the jam with a hard hit grounder to first baseman Justin Smoak, who fired home to get LeMahieu. Smoak then nabbed catcher Reese McGuire’s return throw at first for a critical double play.

Sam Gaviglio relieved Thornton to begin the seventh inning. The Blue Jays starter threw 89 pitches in his effort, 53 for strikes, and yielded only three hits. Gaviglio gave up two hits in his three innings.

But the Blue Jays failed to get to Tanaka. The Yankees starter had struggled in recent outings. He surrendered 24 runs in his previous four starts and 18 ? innings of work.

He was sharp against Toronto, however. He only allowed four runners to reach first base. Bichette led off the game with an infield hit after Urshela bobbled Bichette’s slow chopper. Smoak reached base on an error from Yankees second baseman LeMahieu in the second inning.

Smoak also drilled a single to leadoff the eighth inning, but he was forced out at second on a ground ball from Hernandez to LeMahieu. Tanaka then coaxed Derek Fisher into hitting into a double play to end the inning and his day.

Notes — Reliever Jason Adam, who picked up his first Major League win in the Blue Jays come-from-behind 5-4 victory on Saturday, was optioned to triple-A Buffalo on Sunday to make room for newcomer Neil Ramirez … The 30-year-old Ramirez signed a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays last Tuesday after being released by the Cleveland Indians on Aug. 2.

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Blue Jays’ Rally Begins a New Streak for the Yankees

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a go-ahead, two-run triple in the seventh inning and the Toronto Blue Jays rallied to beat the Yankees, 5-4, Saturday, handing New York its second straight loss following a season-high nine-game winning streak.

Gary Sanchez returned from the injured list and hit a solo home run for the Yankees and Gio Urshela added a two-run drive.

The Blue Jays trailed 4-3 in the seventh when Bo Bichette drew a one-out walk from Adam Ottavino, Cavan Biggio singled and Guerrero Jr. grounded the ball down the first-base line and into foul territory. Right fielder Aaron Judge initially mishandled the ball against a side wall, and Guerrero slid in safely for the first triple of his career.

The Yankees had gone ahead on DJ LeMahieu’s sacrifice fly in the top of the inning, but Ottavino (5-4) couldn’t make it stand up. The right-hander allowed a run for the first time in 16 appearances, a streak that dated to July 2 against the Mets.

Jason Adam (1-0) worked 1 1/3 innings for his first major league win and Derek Law got four outs for his third save in three opportunities.

Teoscar Hernandez hit a three-run home run for the Blue Jays, who have gone deep in 15 consecutive games. It is Toronto’s longest such streak since a 19-game run in 2010.

Blue Jays batters have hit 99 home runs since June 16. Only the Yankees (100) have hit more in that span.

The Yankees have hit multiple home runs in nine straight games, extending their season-best streak. New York lost for the ninth time in 61 games with multiple home runs.

Sanchez started in the cleanup spot after missing 16 games because of a strained left groin. He struck out swinging on three pitches against right-hander Wilmer Font in his first at-bat, then provided the first hit of the game with a one-out homer off right-hander Jacob Waguespack in the fourth. It was Sanchez’s 25th home run of the season and his first since July 4.

Toronto got its first hit, and its first runs, in the fourth. Hernandez, who homered twice Friday, greeted right-hander Chance Adam with a three-run drive into the second deck, his 18th.

Urshela tied it at 3 with a homer into the center field party deck in the sixth, his 17th.

Urshela had back-to-back, two-homer games against Baltimore and Toronto on Wednesday and Thursday. Of his past 29 hits, 20 have been for extra bases.

The Yankees lost for the first time in 12 games this season when using an opener, with starter Chad Green pitching a scoreless inning. Six Yankees pitchers combined to walk eight and strike out 14.

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Jays Guerrero Jr. gets player of the week nod

Toronto Blue Jays rookie Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has once again been recognized as the American League player of the week.

The honour follows a solid stretch for the 20-year-old third basemen, who played six games last week, batting .500 (13-for-26) and scoring five runs, three doubles, three home runs, 11 RBI and two walks.

His biggest showing of the week came last Thursday in the Jays 11-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles. Guerrero batted three-for-five with a double, two home runs and four RBI in the victory.

This is the second time Guerrero has been named a player of the week, making him the first rookie in Blue Jays history to accomplish the feat.

New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard was named the National League player of the week.

A bare-handed catch by former Blue Jay Marcus Stroman was dubbed the play of the week.

Stroman — who was traded to the Mets late last month — made the catch Saturday against the Pittsburgh Pirates when the bases were loaded at the bottom of the first inning. After dashing off the mound and neatly collecting the ball, the pitcher quickly threw a runner out at home.

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Blue Jays closer Giles gets cortisone shot for inflammation

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Blue Jays closer Ken Giles, who has been the subject of trade speculation, got a cortisone shot in his right elbow Tuesday to treat what the club called mild inflammation.

Toronto head athletic trainer Nikki Huffman says an MRI showed no structural problems, and that the shot would provide Giles with “a long-lasting effect.” Huffman also said Giles has been cleared to throw in two days, though when he makes it back to the mound is unclear.

The club said the inflammation was unrelated to the elbow injury Giles sustained when he fell during a game a couple months ago. Giles also missed time in June with inflammation.

The prognosis likely scuttles any potential trades before Wednesday’s deadline. Several contenders looking for bullpen help had been interested in Giles, who is 2-2 with a 1.54 ERA and 14 saves.

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