4/26/2014 2:03 P.M. ET
Farrell stacks lineup with lefties vs. Morrow
By Chris Toman / Special to MLB.com
TORONTO -- The Red Sox stacked their lineup with left-handed bats for Saturday's contest against Blue Jays righty Brandon Morrow.
That meant Mike Napoli, who entered the contest with a team-leading .307 average and .402 on-base percentage, as well as Xander Bogaerts and Jonny Gomes were given the day off.
"At least in the last year-plus, lefties have taken some better swings against [Morrow]," manager John Farrell said.
Entering Saturday, lefties have hit .283/.353/.543 against Morrow this season, which is significantly better than the .200/.273/.333 mark right-handers have compiled. In 2012, it was much of the same, as lefties had an OPS .300 points higher than righties vs. the hard-throwing Morrow.
Mike Carp received the start at first base, Jonathan Herrera was penciled in as the shortstop and Grady Sizemore was in left field.
Pierzynski gets different view of longtime batterymate
TORONTO -- A.J. Pierzynski is quite familiar with catching left-hander Mark Buehrle, as the two were teammates with the White Sox for seven years. Hitting against him, however, is another story.
That's why when the former batterymates faced off against each other in Boston's 8-1 win over the Blue Jays on Friday night, Pierzynski was left with a strange feeling. He was used to seeing Buehrle throw from behind the plate, not the batter's box. The last time Pierzynski had faced Buehrle before Friday's game was in 2003.
"It was really weird to go out there and see him," Pierzynski said. "He wouldn't even look at me, which was kind of weird. I was trying to get his attention because he wouldn't even look at me."
Pierzynski knows Buehrle as well as anyone in the game. But knowing Buehrle and understanding how he's going to attack are two completely different things.
Buehrle, a 15-year veteran, is known to rarely, if ever, shake off his catcher, which makes him a difficult opponent to prepare for, Pierzynski said. That's why despite being knowledgeable when it comes to Buehrle's repertoire, Pierzynski was unable to provide much help to his Red Sox teammates prior to the contest.
"He's so unpredictable because he's not a typical pitcher that has a scouting report, he just throws whatever the catcher puts down," Pierzynski said. "You almost have to have a better scouting report on the catcher than you do on Mark."
Whatever report Pierzynski had on Buehrle appeared to work out just fine. The catcher hit a sacrifice fly, lined out, and ripped a leadoff single against Buehrle in three trips to the plate. Pierzynski finished the contest with three hits and two runs scored, bumping his average to .274 on the season.
Blue Jays middle infielder Diaz gets World Series ring
TORONTO -- Prior to Saturday's contest, Blue Jays backup middle infielder Jonathan Diaz was presented with his Major League dream.
Diaz, who appeared in five games with Boston last season and has played just 23 Major League games entering Saturday, was given a World Series ring by Red Sox manager John Farrell. Assistant general manager Mike Hazen and third-base coach Brian Butterfield were also present when the 29-year-old Diaz collected the hardware.
"It's crazy. I keep saying the same thing to everyone else, but it doesn't feel real, it feels like a dream," Diaz said. "I was grinding it out in the Minor Leagues for a long time and then I got a week up in the big leagues and now I have a ring.
"There are guys who have played 10-plus years who don't have rings. It doesn't make sense, but it's very special."
Diaz, who was flaunting the ring prior to the game, said it was good to catch up with his former teammates. Although he didn't put much time in as a member of the Red Sox, he said he knew the 2013 club had something special. He's also thankful they chose to give him the diamond-encrusted ring, which features the Red Sox logo on the front and the Boston "B" on the side.
"It's hard to accomplish and I really appreciate it, they didn't have to give me a ring," he said.
Diaz spent parts eight seasons in the Minors before making his Major League debut with the Red Sox last June.
Chris Toman is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.