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Friday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays matchups: Jon Lester vs. Ramon Ortiz

05.10.13 at 10:32 am ET
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Left-hander Jon Lester will take the mound for the Red Sox, looking for his fifth win of the season, in the series opener vs. Toronto at Fenway Park on Friday night. Lester will take on veteran righty Ramon Ortiz, who is making his first start of the season for the pitching-deprived Blue Jays.

Lester comes into the series with a 4-0 record after not factoring into the decision his last time out against Texas. In that start, the lefty gave up three runs on five hits and three walks while fanning seven in six innings. Lester left the game in a 3-3 tie, but the Sox would go on to drop the tilt 4-3 on a walk-off single in the ninth from Adrian Beltre.

It’€™s only been a couple of weeks since the Sox ace took on Toronto, and the 29-year-old starter looks to have a better outing against the Jays this time around. Lester did not look sharp in his last start against Toronto, giving up a season-high six runs (five earned) on six hits and two walks in six innings, giving up a home run to first baseman Edwin Encarnacion and doubles to right fielder Jose Bautista and catcher J.P. Arencibia.

Although his last time out against the Jays wasn’€™t a winning effort, Lester has had relative success against Toronto in his career. He’€™s 12-7 lifetime with a 3.82 ERA and 1.128 WHIP. His numbers against the divisional rival would look even better if it weren’€™t for 2012. Lester went 1-3 against Toronto last year, allowing 21 runs and seven home runs in 26 innings pitched with a 7.22 ERA.

The Blue Jays, who were handicapped by pitching injuries in 2012, are facing the same issues again in 2013. They’€™ve already lost Josh Johnson to the DL with right triceps inflammation, and starter J.A. Happ joins him after being hit in the head with a line drive on Tuesday night and twisting his knee while collapsing to the ground. R.A. Dickey also is dealing with some soreness in his back and neck, but he has been pitching through it. The injuries have forced the Blue Jays to get creative with their rotation, and Ramon Ortiz is the newest addition to it.

Ortiz is a seasoned veteran with 12 years of major league experience under his belt. The 40-year-old (who at 40 years and 47 days will be the oldest Blue Jays starter to take the mound since Dave Steib in 1998, who was 41 at the time) was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo for the second time this season. Ortiz was pitching well with the Bisons, going 2-0 in 3 starts with a 2.18 ERA. His only other appearance for the Blue Jays this year was a mop-up relief appearance in a blowout against the White Sox, in which he went 3 1/3 innings and allowed two runs on five hits and a walk.

The well-traveled journeyman, who has played with eight teams over the course of his career, has faced the Red Sox 12 times, but it’€™s been a while since he’€™s been to Fenway Park. The last time the Sox got a look at Ortiz was back in 2004, when he pitched a total of 9 1/3 innings in relief for the Angels. Prior to that, Ortiz made two starts a year against the Red Sox from 2000-2003, and will bring a 3-3 record and 4.67 ERA against the Sox into Friday night. One Red Sox hitter that will be happy to see Ortiz is David Ortiz (no relation). The Sox designated hitter has five hits in 15 at-bats against the pitcher who shares his last name, and four of those five hits left the park.

This will be the first start since July 10, 2011, for Ramon Ortiz, who spent the entirety of 2012 pitching for the Yankees‘€™ Triple-A team. The righty has bounced around quite a bit since being traded to the Reds in 2004, spending time with seven major league teams and seven minor league clubs since 2005.

Blue Jays vs. Lester (LHP)

Jose Bautista (55 plate appearances): .234BA/.309 OBP/.553 SLG, 4 home runs, 3 doubles, 8 RBI, 6 walks, 11 strikeouts

J.P. Arencibia (34 PAs): .219/.265/.438, 2 HR, 1 2B, 6 RBI, 2 walks,  13 strikeouts

Melky Cabrera (31 PAs): .300/.323/.333, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts

Edwin Encarnacion (31 PAs): .185/.290/.481, 2 HRs, 2 2Bs, 6 RBI, 4 walks, 6 strikeouts

Rajai Davis (29 PAs): .240/.345/.560, 1 HR, 2 3Bs, 1 2B, 5 RBI, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts

Adam Lind (28 PAs): .111/.143/.148, 1 2B, 1 walk, 10 strikeouts

Maicer Izturis (22 PAs): .286/.318/.429, 3 2Bs, 2 RBI, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Brett Lawrie (19 PAs): .176/.263/.412, 1 HR, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts

Colby Rasmus (12 PAs): .250/.250/.250, 1 RBI, 3 strikeouts

Mark DeRosa (9 PAs): .250/.333/.750, 1 HR, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 1 strikeout

Emilio Bonifacio (8 PAs): .125/.125/.125, 4 strikeouts

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

Munenori Kawasaki has not faced Lester.

Red Sox vs. Ortiz (RHP)

David Ortiz (17 PAs): .333/.412/1.133, 4 HRs, 4 RBI, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts

Shane Victorino (9 PAs): .500/.556/.500, 2 RBI, 1 walk

David Ross (7 PAs): .600/.714/1.200, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 1 strikeout

Jonny Gomes (3 PAs): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts

Mike Napoli: .500/.500/.500, 1 strikeout

Stephen Drew has faced Ortiz twice and is 0-for-2. Mike Carp, Pedro Ciriaco, Jacoby Ellsbury, Will Middlebrooks, Daniel Nava, Dustin Pedroia and Jarrod Saltalamacchia have never faced Ortiz.

Read More: Jon Lester, Ramon Ortiz,
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