The bright spot for the Red Sox is who will be taking the mound.
Amidst the disappointment and turmoil that has surrounded Boston this season, the reemergence of right-hander Clay Buchholz has been one of the few positives for the club.
Buchholz has been the Red Sox's best starter in a year that has seen front-of-the-rotation arms Jon Lester and Josh Beckett struggle, before the latter was sent to the Dodgers as part of a mega deal that reshaped Boston's roster.
The 28-year-old Buchholz has put an injury-riddled 2011 and rocky first two months of the season behind him to become the anchor of Boston's staff. Over the first two months of the season and a span of 10 starts, Buchholz had a 7.19 ERA, pitched seven innings just twice and turned in two quality starts.
In Buchholz's 14 starts since, he has been a completely different pitcher, throwing 10 quality starts and going at least seven innings 11 times, while sporting a 2.98 ERA with 76 strikeouts to just 22 walks.
He'll look to win his 12th game of the season against a Blue Jays team he beat to kick off his impressive 14-game stretch at the beginning of June.
Buchholz, who has scuffled a bit recently by going winless over his past three starts, will oppose Toronto's Carlos Villanueva.
"They didn't hit the ball hard. Clay deserved better than we allowed to happen," catcher Ryan Lavarnway said after Buchholz's last start, a 4-1 loss to Seattle. "He deserved better than that."
Villanueva, who will be looking to help Toronto complete a three-game sweep, has just a lone win and sports a 4.12 ERA over his past seven starts, while averaging just under a strikeout per inning.
Villanueva has made a smooth transition to the Blue Jays' rotation, but the impending free agent is coming off the worst of his 13 starts, getting roughed up for a season-high six earned runs over 6 2/3 innings in a loss to the Orioles.
"Didn't quite have the finish down in the strike zone as he had been showing previously. That was the difference, just elevation on some pitches inside the strike zone that they were able to capitalize on," manager John Farrell said about Villanueva's last outing.
Toronto and Boston will play one more series against each other this season, coming at Rogers Centre starting next Friday. The Red Sox are looking to avoid their first last-place finish since 1993, the year the Blue Jays won their second of back-to-back World Series titles.
Blue Jays: Escobar heating up
Shortstop Yunel Escobar has struggled after putting together a stellar 2011 campaign, but he has started to heat over up of late.
Over his past 12 games since coming off the paternity list, Escobar is batting .326, with two homers, seven RBIs and a .941 OPS.
Rookie Anthony Gose recorded his first career home run and multi-RBI game in Saturday's 9-2 win over Boston.
The speedster has struggled at the plate over 32 games this season, but he has been solid on the basepaths. Gose's 13 stolen bases are tied with Edwin Encarnacion for second on the team.
J.P. Arencibia started his second consecutive game Saturday since returning from the disabled list with a fractured right hand, while Brett Lawrie -- who missed just over a month with a strained oblique -- was given the day off Saturday after returning Friday.
Farrell plans to sit Arencibia for the series finale and get Lawrie back into the lineup.
"The fact is he has had just a couple games played, he'll be back in the lineup tomorrow," Farrell said. "He played the night before [in a Minor League rehab game], traveled in here and this [Saturday] was just a scheduled off-day for him."
Red Sox: Offense struggling
Boston leads the Majors with 467 extra-base hits and is fourth in the American League with 665 runs scored, but the Red Sox have scored three runs or less in eight of its past 10 games.
The Red Sox, not surprisingly, are just 1-9 over that stretch.
Boston has tallied at least 300 doubles in each of the last 17 seasons, extending the longest such streak in Major League history.
Scott Podsednik loves hitting at Fenway Park.
The 36-year-old has hit safely in 15 of the 16 games he has started this season, including 10 multihit efforts, and is hitting .419 at home this season.
Podsednik's .383 career average at Fenway is tops among active players with at least 100 plate appearances and is the third best among all players with at least 100 plate appearances since 1921, behind Will Clark (.434) and Roy Howell (.388).
The Blue Jays have won four straight contests at Fenway Park in the same season for the first time since 1989.
Adam Lind is batting .345 (10-for-29) with two homers and a .953 OPS lifetime against Buchholz.
Boston has lost 15 of its past 19 and has dropped four consecutive series.