Early mistakes costly for Blue Jays starter Francisco Liriano

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Less than 48 hours after David Price lashed out at Hall of Fame pitcher and current NESN analyst Dennis Eckersley on the team plane, Sale took the mound for the Red Sox and quietly struck out 11 over seven shutout innings in the Sox' 7-1 win yesterday over the Toronto Blue Jays. "And we're seeing that start to flow through into other guys".

The way things have been going for the Jays at the plate, putting together a lengthy run needs an "if" asterisk attached.

He's batting fifth versus left-hander Drew Pomeranz and the Red Sox. The loss dipped their record to 1-4 on what was viewed as a crucial homestand against AL East foes and their overall mark to 37-44, the first time they have been six games below.500 since May 23. "We're still waiting on that".

The early runs allowed have been a problem for the Jays, who have a first-inning ERA of 6.19, second only to Boston's 6.33 as the highest in the American League.

Farrell will be back in Toronto for the game Sunday.

After torching the Blue Jays on Saturday, Sale now has 56 more strikeouts than baserunners allowed this season.

With the extended workload on the bullpen in Toronto's marathon, 11-inning loss to the Red Sox on Friday, the Jays recalled Lucas Harrell in time for the game Saturday. Sale has won nine of his past 10 decisions.

Steve Pearce homered for the Blue Jays. A couple hours later, the Blue Jays sent outfielder Lane Thomas to the St. Louis Cardinals for global amateur signing bonus space.

"There's a lot of optimism", Barney said.

"Nobody's thinking that things aren't going to work out for us".

"I didn't make pitches when I needed to", Liriano said.

The Blue Jays have based their hope on the parity they see in the American League.

"Anything can happen. We win 11 in a row we're right back in the hunt, and we're not even that far out of the wild card if you look at the numbers". I don't think guys are hanging their heads in here. "We want to come out, be optimistic and try and play the way that we know we can".

"He's got a great arm", Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. The big RBIs in the first two innings kind of quieted the crowd down a little bit. Pitch just a couple of innings, your velocity is better and you get used more.

Both teams combined for 20 walks, four of them intentional.

Red Sox: SS Xander Bogaerts (left groin) was scratched from the starting lineup.

Biagini was 1-4 with a 5.88 ERA in five starts in June. LHP Martin Perez (4-6, 4.70) starts for the Rangers.

Reds 5, Cubs 3: Jackson Stephens lasted five innings in his major league debut and drove in the go-ahead runs with a bases-loaded single to lead Cincinnati. With a record of 37-42 and now sitting 7.5 back of the Red Sox for the division lead, the front office is going to have some hard decisions to make. In 11 career relief outings against Boston, he is 1-1 with a 4.05 ERA. On Saturday, Boston made it two straight with a 7-1 win.

Sale has struck out 11 or more five times in his 17 starts.

Over on the Blue Jays' side, they're going with RHP Joe Biagini for the start on Sunday.

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