(SportsNetwork.com) - The Toronto Blue Jays will try to bounce back from a series loss on Monday evening as they play host to the struggling Boston Red Sox in the first of three straight meetings.
The Blue Jays began their nine-game residency by losing two of three to the Tampa Bay Rays, losing Sunday's rubber match 2-1 in 10 innings. That defeat leaves Toronto 5 1/2 games back of the second wild card spot in the American League.
J.A. Happ starts tonight for the Blue Jays hoping to end a three-start losing streak. He lasted only 3 1/3 innings on Tuesday at Milwaukee, charged with four runs on six hits and two walks.
"We got outplayed and it started with me," said the left-hander, who is now 8-8 with a 4.39 earned run average on the season.
Happ has gone 3-2 with a 4.36 ERA over his career against Boston and picked up his most recent victory against the club on July 22. The 31-year-old logged six scoreless innings, working around seven hits.
Happ is set to go against a Boston club that has lost eight in a row and finished up a 2-9 homestand with an 8-6 loss to Seattle on Sunday.
"The thing that we continue to stress is the unanswered runs," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "When we score, the ability to then put up a zero is key. For us to snap out of where we are, it's going to come from more consistency on the mound."
It was a tough series at the plate for the Red Sox, who placed shortstop Xander Bogaerts on the seven-day concussion disabled list after Sunday's game. Bogaerts was hit in the head by a changeup from Mariners starter Felix Hernandez on Friday.
David Ortiz, meanwhile, was hit by a pitch on Saturday, but was in the lineup the following day before fouling a ball off his right foot. He left after the sixth inning and is day-to-day.
Boston kicks off a 10-game road trip tonight with Clay Buchholz on the hill.
Buchholz has not won since July 18, going 0-3 with a 7.05 ERA in six starts since. He is coming off Wednesday's setback to the Los Angeles Angels as he yielded six runs over six innings.
"I felt good for just about every pitch," said Buchholz. "I just missed location with a couple of pitches and they were able to put a big inning together."
The 30-year-old righty is 5-8 with a 5.94 ERA on the year and his current winless streak includes back-to-back losses to Toronto on July 23 and 28. Buchholz allowed a total of 11 earned runs, 13 hits and eight walks over 11 innings as he is now 10-8 lifetime versus the Blue Jays with a 3.22 ERA.
The Blue Jays are 10-3 versus the Red Sox this year, winning each of the past six meetings.