The Boston Red Sox evened the three-game series at a game a piece on Wednesday night with a dominant victory over the Toronto Blue Jays, 10-1. Clay Buchholz tossed seven scoreless innings, surrendering only two hits while striking out eight on his way to his sixth win of the season. The Red Sox started off May in a similar fashion they started April and look to continue their winning ways.
Ryan Dempster will take the mound on Thursday night for the Red Sox in the series finale against the Blue Jays. Dempster notched his first victory of the season last week and is looking to continue moving in the right direction.
On the season, Dempster is 1-2 with a 3.30 ERA and 43 strikeouts over only 30 innings of work. His 12.9 strikeouts per nine innings is outstanding and has shown the real pitcher he is, rather than what his record has him looking like. The 35-year-old has looked dominant over his first five games of the season, but had not received any run support in his first four outings before his first victory on Apr. 26.
Over the past 10 years, Dempster holds a 5.27 ERA and only 13 punch outs over 13.2 innings of work against the Blue Jays. Having played most of his career in the National League, the starting pitcher has not faced the Blue Jays often. His last appearance against the Blue Jays was as a closer in 2005, pitching one inning while striking out the side for the save. The 16-year veteran has never pitched at the Rogers Centre.
The Blue Jays have elected to start J.A. Happ and skip Josh Johnson in the rotation due to an injury. Happ, who will be pitching on normal rest due to an off-day on Monday, is 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA on the season, making him one of the best starting pitchers for the Blue Jays all year. Against the Red Sox, the 30-year-old is 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA and 12 strikeouts over 18.1 innings of work during his career.
Happ is another pitcher who has spent most of his career in the National League and has not faced this opponent often in his career. In his last appearance against the Red Sox, the starter tossed 5.1 innings without surrendering a run while striking out six on his way to the victory back on Apr. 6 of this season.
The first pitch is set for 7:07 p.m. eastern from the Rogers Center in Toronto, Ont.