The Red Sox started a crucial stretch of their season the right way with a dominant win over the Blue Jays on Monday. Now, after scoring a season-high 14 runs, the offense just needs to keep it going.
Monday marked the first of 13 consecutive games Boston will play against divisional opponents. On Tuesday, the Blue Jays and Sox -- who have won five in a row -- play the second of a four-game set at Rogers Centre, with Jake Peavy and J.A. Happ sharing the rubber.
Peavy has been at the center of trade rumors over the last few weeks, and he's no stranger to these circumstances. He's been moved twice at the Trade Deadline in the last five years, once to Boston in 2013.
Peavy had a rough stretch from mid-May to early June, when he posted a 6.69 ERA and .331/.352/.503 slash line against in six outings. Since, he's been better, but not great: a 4.21 ERA and .264/.331/.464 slash line against in six starts.
As little as wins can mean to a pitcher's actual performance, Peavy (1-8) has struggled to find the "W" column through 19 starts. His only victory came against Toronto back in late April, when he pitched seven innings with seven strikeouts while allowing one run.
"You kind of put that aside. He's worked deep into games. He's pitched low-run games. A number of days he's pitched on the wrong day, and days we haven't supported him with a lot of offense," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "But more importantly, he's done a very good job of separating some tough luck situations ... and not letting it affect his performance."
Happ's last appearance came in relief July 12, when he allowed two runs on three hits over two-thirds of an inning. He has a 4.75 ERA, 1.50 WHIP and 2.11 K/BB ratio in 13 starts. He's made four appearances from the 'pen.
Happ hasn't started since July 7, though. He was scratched from his final scheduled start before the break so R.A. Dickey could pitch on normal rest.
Blue Jays: Santos DFA'd, Rasmussen recalled
• The Blue Jays designated Sergio Santos for assignment Monday and recalled lefty Rob Rasmussen from Triple-A Buffalo for his third Major League stint.
Rasmussen allowed just a hit over 2 1/3 innings Monday, slowing a Red Sox offense that had already broken out for 14 runs when he entered the game in the fifth.
Santos, 31, appeared in 24 games for the Blue Jays this season, going 0-2 with five saves and a 7.78 ERA. Over three seasons with Toronto, he made 59 relief appearances and went 1-4 with a 4.83 ERA and eight saves. He served as the team's closer to start the year with Casey Janssen on the disabled list.
Rasmussen has appeared in seven games for the Blue Jays this year, allowing four earned runs in six innings while striking out seven. The 24-year-old has a 2.61 ERA in 25 games with Triple-A Buffalo.
His return to the big league club gives Toronto four left-handed relievers.
"I know, ideally, you have so many righties and so many lefties, [we're] just looking for guys who can get outs," general manager Alex Anthopoulos said.
"Sometimes people get so caught up in left-right, if you're a righty that gets left-handers out, who cares? We don't look at it that way, we're looking for guys who can get outs for us. Right, left, submarine, whatever it is, if you can get three outs, it's fine."
Red Sox: Victorino sits in opener
• Shane Victorino was not in the lineup for the series opener after playing a pair of games over the weekend for the first time since late May.
The right fielder went on the 15-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain May 24 and suffered a back injury while on rehab. He returned to action for the final two contests of the Red Sox three-game series against the Royals, going 3-for-7 with a double while playing right field.
Farrell said a four-game series on the turf at Rogers Centre means the club will monitor the 33-year-old a little closer than usual.
"He's come out of the last four days feeling very good and if needed, he could play today," Farrell said. "But we want to be cautious, and we have to manage it as best we can."
• David Ortiz tied Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski for 36th on the all-time list home run list with No. 452, a two-run shot to center in the fourth Monday. In the fifth, he hit another two-run homer to pass the Red Sox legend.
• Ortiz has 35 homers at Rogers Centre, his most at any park besides Fenway. Alex Rodriguez, with 36, has hit the most long balls of any visitor to Toronto's home stadium.
• Melky Cabrera is 6-for-14 lifetime against Peavy.
Steven Petrella is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.