Red Sox visit Blue Jays with series on line

TORONTO — The Toronto Blue Jays normally would have had Marcus Stroman pitching Sunday in the finale of their three-game series against the Boston Red Sox at the Rogers Centre.

Stroman however, was put on the 10-day disabled list Friday with what is described as fatigue in his right shoulder.

The right-hander is sitting with an 0-5 record and a 7.71 ERA in seven starts this season and after a sore shoulder had delayed his start to spring training.

The Blue Jays will replace the winless Stroman with a winless replacement in Joe Biagini (0-1, 8.10), who will be making his third major league start of the season. Biagini will be looking for his first win of the season anywhere. He is 0-3 with a 4.57 ERA in four starts with Triple-A Buffalo.

Biagini is 1-3 with a 6.48 ERA in 15 career games (two starts) against the Red Sox. His two starts for Toronto this season were made when he was called up from Buffalo to pitch in doubleheaders against the Cleveland Indians and the Kansas City Royals.

The teams have split the first two games of the series with the Blue Jays winning 5-3 in 12 innings Friday and the Red Sox winning 5-2 on Saturday.

The Red Sox would seem to have a decided advantage in the rubber match.

They will start left-hander Drew Pomeranz (1-1, 5.23 ERA), who will be making his fifth start since returning from the DL on April 20 after missing the first three weeks of the season with a left forearm flexor strain.

He has allowed five runs over 12 innings in his past two starts, both of which were six innings.

Pomeranz overcame a left index finger problem in his no-decision against the New York Yankees in which he allowed two runs, four hits, two walks and had six strikeouts, a game the Yankees won 3-2 on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium. It was his best performance since leaving the DL.

“My fingernail, the way I throw the curveball, I kind of use the top part of my finger and my fingernail split down the middle and it was like a little sliver that was pulling on the skin,” Pomeranz said after the start. “So, when I threw my curveball, it kept bleeding. I had to cut it off, but I couldn’t pull all of it off because it was still pulling on the skin.”

Pomeranz was 3-1 with a 3.92 ERA in four starts against Toronto last season and is 3-2 with a 3.99 ERA in eight career games (six starts) against them.

The Blue Jays made more roster moves before the game Saturday. Infielder Gio Urshela, who was acquired from Cleveland this week for cash considerations, was in the lineup at shortstop Saturday and had a hit in his first at-bat as a Blue Jay. He was 1-for-2 before Richard Urena hit for him in the seventh. Outfielder Dalton Pompey was returned to Buffalo on option.

Urshela has been a third baseman for most of his career, but catcher Russell Martin made his second start of the season at third on Saturday and regular third baseman Josh Donaldson was used as designated hitter as has been used on occasion since returning from the DL where he had been with a sore shoulder.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons had seen Urshela play and talked about his versatility.

“I saw him a little bit in Cleveland last year,” Gibbons said. “The word is he can play anywhere. But I’ve seen it, he’s a really good third baseman, I know that. Really good. But you can put him at different spots.”

Blue Jays regular shortstop Aledmys Diaz is on the DL with a sprained ankle and Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who has been playing there for him, is in a 1-for-13 drought and had the day off.

The Red Sox returned slumping center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. to the lineup Saturday after he was not used for three games. He was 0-for-4 and his batting average dropped to .167.