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Preview: Blue Jays (54-48) at Red Sox (46-55)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Game: 1
Venue: Fenway Park
Date: September 20, 2013 7:10 PM EDT
  

While the Boston Red Sox are officially headed back to the postseason, they aren't satisfied just yet.

The Red Sox can clinch the AL East in Friday night's series opener against the visiting Toronto Blue Jays.

Stephen Drew hit a two-run homer and John Lackey threw a two-hitter in Thursday's 3-1 win over Baltimore, helping Boston (93-61) lock up its first playoff berth since 2009.

"We've still got some other goals ahead of us," Lackey said. "Hopefully, here in the next night or two we can get a party going."

Coming off a last-place finish in 2012, the Red Sox's magic number to clinch the division was later cut to one with Tampa Bay's loss to Texas. Boston can also clinch if the Rays lose to Baltimore on Friday.

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"The next step is a more important one than this," manager John Farrell said. "Winning the East, that's been the stated goal since day one of spring training. That's getting closer and I think that will probably be a little bit more the realization of where we've come from and where we are at that moment."

Boston has to be feeling good about giving the ball to Jon Lester (14-8, 3.75 ERA), who is 4-1 with a 1.81 ERA in his last six outings and 6-2 since the All-Star break.

"It's not uncommon for power pitchers to really hit their stride in the second half of the season," Farrell told MLB's official website. "He's an example of that. His delivery becomes that much more efficient, and he repeats it more consistently. With that rhythm comes power, and that's what we've all seen in Jon over the course of the time here."

The left-hander allowed one run and three hits in eight innings to beat the New York Yankees 5-1 on Saturday, his eighth consecutive quality start.

"He's been doing great," teammate Mike Napoli said. "You can see he's confident out there. He's just getting the ball and throwing."

Lester has gone 3-0 with a 2.80 ERA in five starts versus Toronto this season, improving to 14-7 with a 3.64 ERA in his career against the Blue Jays. Adam Lind (3 for 29 with 12 strikeouts), Brett Lawrie (3 for 22), Jose Reyes (1 for 12) and J.P. Arencibia (8 for 41 with 16 strikeouts) have all struggled in their matchups.

Toronto (70-82) took two of three from the Yankees this week, winning 6-2 on Thursday. Anthony Gose went 3 for 4 with a home run and Lind added a three-run shot for his third homer in six games.

The Blue Jays now turn to Esmil Rogers (5-7, 4.47), who is 2-0 with a 2.32 ERA in his last five starts. After throwing 14 scoreless innings in winning back-to-back outings, the right-hander allowed three runs in six innings and didn't receive a decision in Saturday's 4-3 victory over Baltimore.

"I just think about giving the opportunity to win the game, and try to help the team," said Rogers, who matched a career high with seven strikeouts. "The only way you can get out people is when you make good pitches."

Rogers has posted a 0.75 ERA and struck out 12 in as many innings in two starts versus the Red Sox this year, both Blue Jays wins. Dustin Pedroia is 5 for 10 with two doubles against him.

Boston outfielder Shane Victorino missed Thursday's win with a jammed right thumb, leaving his status for Friday unclear. Victorino is hitting .359 with seven homers, 21 RBIs and 25 runs in his last 26 games.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 SERIES AT A GLANCE
GAME 1
Blue Jays at Red Sox
Fri, Sep 20 Final 3 to 6
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 2
Blue Jays at Red Sox
Sat, Sep 21 Final 4 to 2
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 3
Blue Jays at Red Sox
Sun, Sep 22 Final 2 to 5
 Boxscores    Recaps

 CURRENT LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 TOR  +195   -105   8.5 
 BOS  -230   -115   
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CURRENT SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 TOR  +195   -105   8.5 
 BOS  -230   -115   
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 TOR  12%   15%   78% 
 BOS  88%   85%   22% 
BT MOVEMENTS

 MLB HEAD TO HEAD
 Aug 15, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 BOS 1 Under: 3 
 TOR 2 Cover: +110 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Aug 14, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 BOS 3 Under: 7 
 TOR 4 Cover: +133 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Aug 13, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 BOS 4 Cover: +100 
 TOR 2 Under: 6 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Jun 30, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 TOR 4 Under: 9 
 BOS 5 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Jun 29, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 TOR 6 Cover: +134 
 BOS 2 Under: 8 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Jun 28, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 TOR 5 Over: 12 
 BOS 7 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Jun 27, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 TOR 4 Over: 11 
 BOS 7 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 May 12, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 TOR 12 Cover: +200 
 BOS 4 Over: 16 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 May 11, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 TOR 3 Cover: +170 
 BOS 2 Under: 5 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 May 10, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 TOR 0 Under: 5 
 BOS 5 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps

 MLB PREVIEWS
 Friday, Sep 20
 
    Braves at Cubs
2:20 PM EDT
    White Sox at Tigers
7:05 PM EDT
    Giants at Yankees
7:05 PM EDT
    Astros at Indians
7:05 PM EDT
    Marlins at Nationals
7:05 PM EDT
    Mets at Phillies
7:05 PM EDT
    Reds at Pirates
7:05 PM EDT
    Blue Jays at Red Sox
7:10 PM EDT
    Orioles at Rays
7:10 PM EDT
    Rangers at Royals
8:10 PM EDT
    Cardinals at Brewers
8:10 PM EDT
    Diamondbacks at Rockies
8:10 PM EDT
    Mariners at Angels
10:05 PM EDT
    Twins at Athletics
10:05 PM EDT
    Dodgers at Padres
10:10 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
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