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Tuesday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays matchups: Jon Lester vs. Brandon Morrow

04.30.13 at 11:27 am ET
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Jon Lester will look to close out his terrific month of April by joining Clay Buchholz as a member of the five-win club. Lester will face off against Brandon Morrow on Tuesday night as the Red Sox and Blue Jays open up a three-game series in Toronto.

Lester and Buchholz are a combined 9-0 and both have ERAs under 3.00, which is one of the primary reasons for the team’s 18-7 record, the best in baseball. Lester is 4-0 with a 2.27 ERA, striking out 28 in 31 2/3 innings. He allowed his first home run of the year in his most recent start, and has allowed 25 hits and 10 walks, equating to a 1.11 WHIP.

In his most recent outing, Lester had his first tough start, but he still was able to pick up the victory. On Wednesday, the left-hander went 5 2/3 innings, allowed three runs on six hits, walked a season-high six batters and struck out five in the Sox’ 6-5 win over the A’s. This is the first season in his career in which Lester has four victories in April.

“I wouldn’t say I didn’t have good stuff,” Lester said after his last start. “I thought I had good stuff. Early on, it was a little bit of a battle, a lot of foul balls. It was big to get a win right there. The offense picked me up, coming back after that three-run inning to score three and tie it up. They kept doing a good job later after that to score some more runs.”

At the start of the season, many baseball analysts and experts had the Sox and Jays in opposition positions from which they currently sit. While the Sox lead the AL East at 18-7, the Jays are in the cellar, at a disappointing 9-17. Morrow will look to end a couple of streaks on Tuesday night, as Toronto has lost four straight and the 0-2 righty will look for his victory of the season.

In five starts, Morrow has hurled 27 1/3 innings, allowed 33 hits, four home runs and nine walks, with 19 strikeouts. His ERA is a robust 5.27. In his Wednesday start against Baltimore, he allowed three runs in 6 1/3 innings and got a no-decision.

Lester has had considerable success against the Jays in his career, going 12-7 with a 3.67 ERA in 144 2/3 innings. Adam Lind has struggled in particular vs. the two-time All-Star, going 3-for-27 with 10 strikeouts in his career. On the other hand, Morrow has been lit up by the Sox, posting a 1-3 record with an 8.28 ERA in his career against the division rival. Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury and David Ortiz are a combined 24-for-52 (.462) with seven home runs and 18 RBIs against Morrow.

Red Sox vs. Morrow (RHP)

Dustin Pedroia (24 plate appearances): .500 BA/.542 OBP/1.000 SLG, 2 home runs, 5 RBI, 4 doubles, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts

Jacoby Ellsbury (20): .444/.474/1.111, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 1 triple, 1 double, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

David Ortiz (18): .429/.556/.929, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 1 double, 4 walks, 5 strikeouts

Mike Napoli (15): .143/.200/.143, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts

Jarrod Saltalamacchia (12): .091/.167/.091, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

Mike Carp (8): .250/.250/.250, 2 strikeouts

Stephen Drew (3): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout

Jonny Gomes (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 RBI

Daniel Nava (3): .333/.333/.667, 2 RBI, 1 double

Pedro Ciriaco (2): .000/.000/.000

Will Middlebrooks, David Ross and Shane Victorino have never faced Morrow.

Blue Jays vs. Lester (LHP)

Jose Bautista (52 plate appearances): .222/.288/.533, 4 HR, 7 RBI, 2 doubles, 5 walks, 11 strikeouts

J.P. Arencibia (31): .207/.258/.414, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 walks, 13 strikeouts

Melky Cabrera (28): .333/.357/.370, 2 RBI, 1 double, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts

Edwin Encarnacion (28): .167/.286/.375, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 doubles, 4 walks, 6 strikeouts

Adam Lind (28): .111/.143/.148, 1 double, 1 walk, 10 strikeouts

Rajai Davis (26): .208/.269/.542, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 2 triples, 1 double, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts

Maicer Izturis (19): .333/.368/.500, 2 RBI, 3 doubles, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Brett Lawrie (16): .143/.250/.429, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 double, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts

Mark DeRosa (9): .250/.333/.750, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 double, 1 strikeout

Colby Rasmus (9): .222/.222/.222, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

Emilio Bonifacio (5): .200/.200/.200, 2 strikeouts

Henry Blanco (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 strikeout

Munenori Kawasaki has never faced Lester.

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