Thursday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays matchups: Rubby De La Rosa vs. Marcus Stroman
|07.24.14 at 10:56 am ET|
The Red Sox finish their four-game series against the Blue Jays in Toronto on Thursday afternoon when they send Rubby De La Rosa to the mound against Marcus Stroman.
De La Rosa (3-2, 2.64 ERA) has been nearly unbeatable at Fenway Park this season. He’s given up one run or fewer in three of his four home starts, all of which have been Red Sox wins. That includes his most recent outing against Kansas City on Saturday. De La Rosa allowed just one run, five hits and four walks over seven innings in a 2-1 win over the Royals.
“He’s been outstanding at home,” manager John Farrell said after the game. “Even in the couple of situations where we gave an extra base runner, he shut it down and pitched with a lot of poise tonight.”
Unfortunately for the Red Sox, those results haven’t translated away from Fenway. The Sox have lost all three of De La Rosa’s road starts. He’s allowed nine runs in 18 1/3 innings on the road, where he will pitch on Thursday.
De La Rosa has just two-thirds of an inning of experience against the Blue Jays, which came in two short relief appearances last season in which he faced just one hitter. The only current Blue Jay the right-hander has faced is Jose Bautista, with one plate appearance.
After starting his major league career in the bullpen, Stroman (5-2, 3.58 ERA) has come on strong as a starter for Toronto this season. The righty has a 2.50 ERA in nine starts since joining the rotation May 31.
Stroman’s most recent start was one of his strongest. He tossed seven shutout innings Saturday against the Rangers, giving up four hits and no walks and striking out five in a 4-1 Blue Jays win. Stroman got himself into trouble just once in the game, facing a two-on, none-out situation in the fourth inning. He quickly got out of that jam with three straight outs.
“I feel like I know what I need to do [in that situation],” Stroman said after the game. “You have to raise your intensity. You can’t be as relaxed. I’m able to make a big pitch in a crucial count, and that was one of those moments.”
Stroman has been plagued by high pitch counts in some cases this season. He allowed just two runs against the Yankees on June 17, but was pulled after throwing 98 pitches in 3 2/3 innings.
Stroman has never faced the Red Sox or a member of their current lineup in his brief career.
Red Sox vs. Stroman (RHP)
No Red Sox players have faced Stroman.
Blue Jays vs. De La Rosa (RHP)
Jose Bautista is hitless in one career plate appearance.