Red Sox will have to manage without Farrell vs. Blue Jays (Jul 01, 2017)

BY AP • July 1, 2017

TORONTO -- Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell will not be at the Rogers Centre on Saturday for the second game of the series against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Farrell will be in Kansas City instead when his son, Luke, makes his major league debut as the starting pitcher for the Royals in the first game of a doubleheader against the Minnesota Twins.

"I don't know that I'll be sitting," Farrell said. "I'll be pacing the ballpark for sure."

The Red Sox, who won the opener of the three-game series on Friday night 7-4 in 11 innings, are in good hands Saturday afternoon. Left-hander Chris Sale (10-3, 2.77 ERA) will start for Boston against Toronto Blue Jays left-hander Francisco Liriano (4-3, 5.46 ERA).

Farrell will be back in Toronto for the series finale on Sunday.

The Blue Jays (37-42) are scuffling. They came off a 3-4 road trip to lose two of three to the Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre. Now facing a formidable opponent in Sale, they are going to be hard-pressed to win the series against the Red Sox (45-35).

Farrell is wary of the Blue Jays despite their struggles.

"This is always a dangerous lineup," he said. "We know that their offense is built around the home run. They score a high number of runs based on home runs. You can never count them out. Once they get their pitching back to full strength, it's a good rotation."

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons knows the Red Sox are usually among the teams to beat in the American League East.

"They always will be (contenders)," Gibbons said. "They have the resources to do it. I don't think that will ever change. Their fan base won't accept it not being that way, so they're going to always have to do something."

Sale leads the major leagues with 155 strikeouts, the most ever by a Red Sox left-hander before the All-Star break. Right-handers Roger Clemens (186 in 1988) and Pedro Martinez (184 in 1999) had the most before the break.

Sale had a season-best 13 strikeouts in eight scoreless innings of a no-decision on April 20 at Rogers Centre and he will make his second appearance of the season there Saturday. It is also his second outing of the season against the Blue Jays.

The 13-strikeout performance was the highest total by a Red Sox pitcher in Toronto. Sale has won nine of his past 10 decisions.

He is 4-2 with a 1.90 ERA in nine career games (six starts) against the Blue Jays and is 2-1 with a 1.36 ERA in five career games (four starts) at Rogers Centre.

"I think the one thing that is on display every fifth or sixth day is the pace at which he pitches," Farrell said. "And we're seeing that start to flow through into other guys.

"I think you're seeing it in Drew (Pomeranz) right now, who has maybe picked up his pace a little bit. And I'm sure when they watch it, and in the conversations that follow in between starts when Chris isn't pitching, it's tangible benefits."

Liriano will try for his second win in a row Saturday. He allowed six hits and two runs in six innings Sunday to win against the Kansas City Royals.

This will be Liriano's second start of the season against the Red Sox. He picked up the win April 19 when he allowed four hits and no runs in 5 1/3 innings at Rogers Centre. He is 3-3 with a 5.11 ERA in seven career starts against the Red Sox.



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