The Blue Jays will wrap up their six-game homestand against American League East teams on Sunday when they host the Red Sox at Rogers Centre. Boston has taken the first two games of the season series between the division rivals.
Toronto's R.A. Dickey will head to the mound in search of his first win since April 5. Since then, Dickey has gone 0-2 over three starts, issuing 13 walks in 13 1/3 innings to bring his season total to 18, tied for the most in the Major Leagues. The knuckleballer threw a six-plus-inning no-decision in the Blue Jays' 9-3 win over Baltimore in his last start, striking out six.
Dickey has repeatedly said that as someone who's traditionally a slow starter, he expects to settle into a groove as the season moves on.
"There's a consistent pattern that's emerging where I feel like I'm an All-Star for the first four or five innings of a ball game, then I get to pitches 75 to 100 and it's like I'm a different human being out there," Dickey said following his last outing. "I'm trying to figure out what that's about physically, but there are a lot of positives. I felt since the Yankee game I've been really close to being consistent, but I haven't been able to put a full game together yet."
Boston will respond with ace Jon Lester, who was shaky in his last start, giving up 11 hits over 4 2/3 innings against the Yankees. Heading into their three-game series against Toronto, the Red Sox were 10-13, and sat at the bottom of the division. By Sunday, they improved to 12-13.
"I know everybody in here is busting their butt to do their best to get on a good run and put a full game together, whether it be pitching or defense or offense, whatever it may be," said Lester after his last start. "I hate saying it, but we've got a long ways to go and we're going to figure it out on both sides of the baseball, and we'll be there -- we'll be fine."
Blue Jays: Diaz gets his ring
Infielder Jonathan Diaz received his 2013 World Series ring prior to Saturday's contest. Needless to say, it was a dream come true.
"There are guys who have played so long in the big leagues that don't have one, and here I am sitting here with one. It's almost like a dream," he said.
Diaz earned the ring as a member of the 2013 World Series champion Red Sox, with whom he played five games before being sent to Triple-A Pawtucket in his only season with the team.
As for where he'll store his most prized possession, Diaz said it'll be locked up tight.
"I'm going to put it away, probably in a safe deposit box," he said. "I'm not sure how I'll get it back to the States. I might have my wife take it back."
Red Sox: Pierzynski says hitting against Buehrle 'weird'
A.J. Pierzynski is familiar with catching Toronto left-hander Mark Buehrle, as the two were teammates with the White Sox for seven years. Hitting against him, however, is another story.
That's why when the former batterymates faced off against each other in Boston's 8-1 win over the Blue Jays on Friday night, Pierzynski was left with a strange feeling. He was used to seeing Buehrle throw from behind the plate, not the batter's box. The last time Pierzynski had faced Buehrle before Friday's game was in 2003.
"It was really weird to go out there and see him," Pierzynski said. "He wouldn't even look at me, which was kind of weird. I was trying to get his attention because he wouldn't even look at me."
Pierzynski knows Buehrle as well as anyone in the game. But knowing Buehrle and understanding how he's going to attack are two completely different things.
Buehrle, a 15-year veteran, is known to rarely, if ever, shake off his catcher, which makes him a difficult opponent to prepare for, Pierzynski said. That's why despite being knowledgeable when it comes to Buehrle's repertoire, Pierzynski was unable to provide much help to his Red Sox teammates prior to the contest.
Whatever report Pierzynski had on Buehrle appeared to work out just fine. The catcher hit a sacrifice fly, lined out and ripped a leadoff single against Buehrle in three trips to the plate.
• Brandon Morrow allowed four earned runs on no hits in the Blue Jays' 7-6 loss to Boston on Saturday. He set a new career-high for walks in a game with eight.
• Pierzynski's grand slam in the third inning was the eighth of his career, and first since May 2009. It was the first Red Sox grand slam of the season.
• Melky Cabrera has hit safely in 23 of 24 games this season.
Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.