Having won eight of their last 10 games, the Red Sox will send left-hander Felix Doubront to the mound against the Blue Jays and right-hander Henderson Alvarez. Doubront gave up four runs on nine hits in six innings against the Marlins on Wednesday, but picked up the win as Boston scored 15 runs.
"My teammates have scored a lot of runs to help me in those kinds of situations when I give up runs," Doubront said. "That helps me. We're a great team."
That team no longer includes Youkilis, but that clears the way for rookie slugger Will Middlebrooks, who will take over at third base for good. Middlebrooks went 0-for-2 with a walk, an RBI and a run as the designated hitter Sunday, bringing his average on the season to .326.
"Typically, those teams are lineups that grind out at-bats, they're not going to chase out of the zone a lot," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said, referring to AL East rivals Boston and New York. "Regardless of the team, I always go back to the guy on the mound is the most important guy, and how he sets the tone early to give our offense a chance to get on track. That's what it will come down to."
For the Blue Jays, that means it will come down to Alvarez, who gave up six runs on 11 hits against the Brewers last Monday. He was chased after only 81 pitches, getting through four innings with two walks and a strikeout. The right-hander hasn't won a game since May 10 and has seen his ERA climb from 2.62 to 4.30 over that stretch.
Doubront, meanwhile, is 6-2 with a 3.83 ERA and 53 strikeouts since May 12. He has held his opponents to two earned runs or fewer in six starts during that span, and pitched at least six innings in nine of his last starts.
Blue Jays: Lind back in the big leagues
With Interleague Play officially over for Toronto, Farrell can once again turn to Edwin Encarnacion -- who had been playing first base under National League rules -- at designated hitter. That allowed the Blue Jays to promote first baseman Adam Lind from Triple-A after Sunday's loss.
After losing his starting job earlier this season due to a rough start at the plate, Lind hit .395 with eight homers and 29 RBIs in 31 games in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.
"Edwin will be in the role that he's done. Obviously we've had him on the field every day," Farrell said before Sunday's game. "If we can get another left-handed bat in the lineup, we'll look to do that, and that will give Edwin a chance to DH."
Toronto also activated outfielder Ben Francisco from the disabled list, optioned David Cooper and Mike McCoy to Las Vegas and moved Sergio Santos to the 60-day DL to make room on the 40-man roster for Lind.
Red Sox: Pedroia heating up after slump
Dustin Pedroia followed up his three-hit game Saturday by going 1-for-3 on Sunday. His three hits Saturday were his most in one game since May 11, and it snapped an 0-for-11 slump and a 9-for-62 skid.
"When it rains, it pours. You go from cold to real hot. It's coming," said Pedroia, who's batting .268 on the year. "The last few days I've swung the bat good, and I just didn't get any hits. That's the tough part to deal with mentally, when you have good at-bats and quality at-bats and don't get any hits. You just have to know that they are coming, and they will. Once you find it, you just take off."
Boston placed right-hander Clay Buchholz on the 15-day disabled list Sunday with what the Red Sox called "a gastrointestinal situation." Valentine didn't go into much detail about Buchholz, but hoped the righty would be ready as soon as his 15-day stint on the DL is over. He has gone 4-0 with a 2.43 ERA over his last five starts.
With Sunday's 9-4 win over the Braves, the Red Sox have won 10 of their last 14 series dating back to May 10. They have lost just three series in that time and tied once.
After going 1-for-4 with a double in Sunday's 9-0 loss to the Marlins, Brett Lawrie is hitting .311 (23-for-74) with six doubles, one triple and three homers in 18 games since moving into the leadoff spot.