From a sweep of the Yankees to being swept by the Blue Jays? The Red Sox don't like the sound of that, and they'll do their best to avoid it on Tuesday night at Fenway Park when they take on Roy Halladay, one of the best pitchers in baseball.
The Blue Jays won the opener of this brief two-game series with a 7-3 victory over Tim Wakefield on Monday.
If nothing else, the Red Sox at least have Halladay fresh on their minds. They saw him last Thursday in Toronto, and the right-hander did his usual high-caliber work. It was just fortunate that Halladay came out of the game in the eighth inning, enabling the Red Sox to overcome a two-run deficit against the Jays bullpen en route to a 5-3 win.
Once again, the Sox will counter Halladay with No. 5 starter Julian Tavarez. Could Tavarez being winding down as a starter with Jon Lester possibly nearing the end of his Minor League rehab assignment? Sox manager Terry Francona will leave that speculation to others.
"We don't need to concern ourselves with three weeks down the road or whatever it is," Francona said. "Those things will take care of themselves."
Tavarez shook off the rust of not pitching in 12 days by holding his own in Toronto. He gave up six hits and three runs over 5 1/3 innings. This will be his third start of the season.
BOS: RHP Julian Tavarez (0-1, 6.75 ERA)
Considering he was pitching on 11 days' rest, the Red Sox couldn't have asked for much more out of Tavarez than he provided in his start on Thursday at Toronto. Tavarez gave up six hits and three runs over 5 1/3 innings, and he kept his team close enough to pull out a comeback win. Tavarez got a no-decision. After walking five batters in his first start, Tavarez didn't allow any in his second. This will be his first start at Fenway this season. TOR: RHP Roy Halladay (2-0, 2.37 ERA)
In his last trip to the mound, Halladay earned a no-decision after Toronto's bullpen couldn't hold a two-run lead against Boston in the eighth inning on Thursday. The right-hander was charged with two runs on six hits with two strikeouts and three walks in 7 1/3 innings. Halladay threw 95 pitches and induced 13 outs via ground balls in the outing. For his career, Halladay is 8-7 with a 4.51 ERA in 28 outings against the Red Sox. He's 3-4 with a 4.81 ERA at Fenway Park.
Player to watch
Center fielder Coco Crisp will return to the lineup after missing two starts with a strained left oblique. Crisp is 6-for-18 lifetime against Halladay.
Official game notes On television
NESN On radio
WRKO-680 AM, Spanish Baseball Network (Español) Up next
Wednesday: Red Sox (RHP Curt Schilling, 2-1, 3.81) at Orioles (RHP Daniel Cabrera, 1-1, 4.10), 7:05 p.m. ET
Thursday: Red Sox (RHP Josh Beckett, 4-0, 2.55) at Orioles (LHP Adam Loewen, 2-0, 3.72), 7:05 p.m. ET
Friday: Red Sox (RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka, 2-2, 4.00) at Yankees (TBA), 7:05 p.m. ET
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.