(Photo credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports)
A day after their chief baseball officer was fired, the Boston Red Sox will pay a Friday night visit to the Toronto Blue Jays, who are reeling after being swept in a four-game series.
The Red Sox (74-73) enter the three-game series against the Blue Jays (80-67) with a 7-3 advantage in the seasonseries.
Before splitting a doubleheader with the visiting New York Yankees on Thursday, the Red Sox let Chaim Bloom go after he spent nearly four years as the head of their front office.
The Red Sox won the opener 5-0 and lost the second game 8-5.
"Obviously it's a decision that ownership made," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. "They decided to go this route. We worked together all these years and it's never easy to hear that. It's never easy."
The Red Sox went 267-262 during Bloom's tenure, finishing last in the American League East in 2020 and 2022 and sitting tied for last this year.
The Blue Jays, meanwhile, lost 9-2 to the visiting Texas Rangers on Thursday to drop all four games of a crucial series.
The Toronto fans were booing for the second game in a row as the Blue Jays were held to four hits. A two-run home run by struggling Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the first inning was all the offense they could muster.
In the race for the final two American League wild-card spots, the Blue Jays fell to 2 1/2 games behind the Rangers (82-64) and 1 1/2 games behind the Seattle Mariners (81-65).
Toronto is 3-4 on a 10-game homestand that ends with the series against Boston.
The Blue Jays are scheduled to start right-hander Jose Berrios (10-10, 3.63 ERA) on Friday. He is 2-6 with a 4.34 ERA in 13 career starts against the Red Sox, including a 1-1 mark with a 6.35 ERA in three starts this year.
Boston is scheduled to start right-hander Brayan Bello (12-8, 3.68) in the opener. He is 1-2 with a 6.50 ERA in four career starts against the Blue Jays. In his lone start against Toronto this year, he allowed four runs (two earned) in five innings during a home win on May 4.
The Blue Jays will hope to bounce back after getting outscored 35-9 by the Rangers in the four-game set.
"This series we played terrible, really, in all facets," Blue Jays right-hander Kevin Gausman said. "Our pitching staff gave up a lot of runs, and we didn't score many runs."
Gausman allowed four runs on six hits and matched his career high by issuing six walks in 4 2/3 innings on Thursday.
"We're as pissed as anybody. We're mad," Gausman said. "We're all competitors, we don't like what happened in this series. We've got a bad taste in our mouth. But we can't do anything right now but keep going."
Blue Jays manager John Schneider added, "We need to hit, we need to pitch better, limit walks. You take the lead in the first inning and you've got to continue to find a way to score runs.
"Not a great series, that's not our best game by any stretch of the imagination."
The Blue Jays reinstated third baseman Matt Chapman from the injured list on Thursday and optioned outfielder Nathan Lukes to Triple-A Buffalo. Chapman, who had been out since Aug. 28 due to a sprained right middle finger, went 0-for-3 with a walk.
--Field Level Media