TORONTO — The Toronto Blue Jays Tanner Pearson Jersey , who have had trouble winning at home for stretches this season, have a chance for their second consecutive series sweep at the Rogers Centre,
The Blue Jays defeated the Washington Nationals 2-0 on Saturday afternoon and have won the first two contests of the three-game interleague series.
It was Toronto’s first shutout since Aug. 10, a stretch of 117 games.
Toronto (32-38) will send out right-hander Sam Gaviglio (2-2, 3.66 ERA) to try for the sweep Sunday afternoon. Washington (37-30) will counter with right-hander Tanner Roark (3-7, 3.63).
The Blue Jays swept the Baltimore Orioles in four games in their previous home series June 7-10 before dropping three in a row to the Tampa Bay Rays from Monday through Wednesday at Tropicana Field. Their home record for the season is 18-19.
Toronto’s six-game win streak at home followed an 1-10 drought at the Rogers Centre. The six-game win streak is their longest at home since they won seven in a row July 2-8, 2016.
The Nationals, meanwhile, have been shut out three times in their past five games and are in a 2-5 funk after an 11-4 surge.
“We’ve had some pitches to hit, we just didn’t hit them,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “It’s surprising, but it happens. You run into good pitchers.”
Washington outfielder Bryce Harper was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts Saturday and is in a 1-for-11 drought with three walks. He also has been hit twice by pitches.
“I watch him and he gets a little frustrated,” Martinez said. “The biggest is just to keep him level-headed and let him go out there and just do his thing. He is one of the best players in the game, he’s going to carry us, I know he is.
“He had a couple of pitches to hit (Saturday) and fouled them back. Usually, he typically hits those pitches, and hits them really hard and really far.”
Said Harper: “They’ve thrown a lot of heaters the past two days, more than I think as a team we’ve generally seen. But you’ve got to make adjustments and get pitches we can hit and not miss them.
“Good pitching beats good hitting any day of the week. That’s baseball … just have to keep grinding http://www.officialblackhawksproshop.com/authentic-adidas-artem-anisimov-jersey , keep going. I’m feeling great, just missing pitches.”
The Blue Jays, meanwhile, are getting production from second baseman Devon Travis, who hit a two-run homer for the second game in a row Saturday. He was coming back from knee surgery last season and was being given one day off every three games.
“The plan was going into the season that we’d protect his knee a little bit until he started feeling good and we could extend that a little bit,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “We’re at that point now. The kid has always hit, he’s a real good hitter, everybody knows it’s just a matter of time. He might have been a little tentative early in the year, too, conscious of his knee a little bit. But two big games in a row here and he’s been really good since he’s come back.”
He had been optioned to Triple-A Buffalo on April 29 as he struggled and returned May 22. In his past 18 games, he is batting .333 with one double, one triple, three home runs and eight RBIs.
Roark allowed three runs, six hits and two walks in six innings in a 3-0 loss to the New York Yankees on Tuesday. He has never faced the Blue Jays.
Gaviglio gave up five runs and seven hits in 3 1/3 innings Monday in a loss to Rays after shutting out the Yankees in seven innings of a no-decision June 6. He has one career start against Washington and took the loss on May 24, 2017, when he was with the Seattle Mariners. He allowed five runs (one earned) and six hits in six innings in the game at Washington.
Boston’s big hitters have consistently done the job this year, helping the Red Sox post the best record in the majors.
It’s been a very different story for the Washington Nationals, and that’s been abundantly clear through the first two games of their interleague series.
Xander Bogaerts hit a three-run homer during a six-run fifth inning Brandon Saad Jersey , J.D. Martinez and Eduardo Nunez also went deep, and Boston beat Washington 11-4 in sweltering conditions Tuesday.
”A lot of guys stepped up,” Bogaerts said. ”The weather’s not the best. It’s hot. It’s better than cold. A lot of guys swung at good pitches and had good at-bats.”
Martinez drove in four and leads the majors with 26 homers and 71 RBIs. Boston has won 17 of its last 19 interleague games, including 11 of its last 12.
Washington has lost four straight and 16 of 21 to fall to 42-42, its first time at .500 since it was 17-17.
”It’s hard to play from behind,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said. ”Our starting pitching right now is not giving the offense a chance. When we do try and make a run and come back, we got to have shutout innings. It’s not happening.”
Red Sox starter Brian Johnson allowed two runs in 4 2/3 innings. Brandon Workman (1-0) pitched a perfect seventh.
Boston scored first, opening the second with consecutive singles before Nunez homered into the left field bullpen off starter Tanner Roark (3-10). Mark Reynolds and Roark had RBI singles in the fourth to pull the Nationals within 3-2.
The Red Sox responded in the fifth, collecting five consecutive singles before Bogaerts ripped Roark’s fastball to center to make it 9-2.
”We did a good job today against Roark,” Nunez said. ”I think he made a lot of mistakes up with the sinker and we took advantage.”
Brian Goodwin and Pedro Severino hit solo homers for Washington.
Roark allowed a career-high nine runs in seven innings and is 1-8 with a 5.19 ERA in 12 appearances (11 starts) since May 5.
”Other than two pitches I feel like they just base hit me to death, so what are you going to do?” Roark said.
Red Sox: 1B Mitch Moreland left in the third inning with back spasms and is day to day. ”I wasn’t planning on playing him tomorrow, so definitely he won’t play tomorrow now,” manager Alex Cora said. … LHP Drew Pomeranz (biceps tendinitis) allowed five runs in 2 2/3 innings Monday for Triple-A Pawtucket in his first rehab appearance since Boston placed him on the disabled list June 5. … 2B Dustin Pedroia (left knee inflammation) is likely to remain in New York all week for further testing.
Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (shoulder inflammation) threw about 60 pitches Tuesday. Martinez said Strasburg’s next step could be a simulated game sometime this weekend. … Martinez said 1B Ryan Zimmerman (right oblique strain) could begin a rehab assignment this weekend. Zimmerman has not played since May 9.
ROSTER MOVE COMING
Cora said Boston will activate RHP Tyler Thornburg (shoulder surgery) on Wednesday. Thornburg was acquired from Milwaukee in December 2016 but has not pitched in the majors since. The Red Sox intend to send RHP William Cuevas to the minors. Cuevas allowed a run in two innings Tuesday in his first appearance with Boston this season.
NATS SIGN TOP PICK
Washington signed first-round pick Mason Denaburg on Tuesday. The right-hander was selected No. 27 overall out of Merritt Island High School in Florida in last month’s draft.
Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (9-3, 4.11 ERA) faces Washington for the first time as the three-game interleague series concludes.
Nationals: RHP Erick Fedde (1-3, 6.00) is coming off his first career victory and gets the nod for Washington’s annual Independence Day morning start.