As the Sox seek a sweep (try saying that three times fast), here are the lineups:
RED SOX (66-49)
Pitching: RHP John Lackey (10-7, 4.60)
BLUE JAYS (59-54)
Pitching: LHP Brad Mills (1-0, 4.09)
Game time: 12:37 p.m.
State of the Sox: Things are looking up. The Sox have won three straight, five of seven and 11 of their last 16. They start the day five games out of first place behind the Yankees and 3.5 games out in the wild card behind the Rays, who are idle today.
Toronto torment: The Sox are 9-2 against Toronto this season, outscoring the Jays by 28 runs. The Blue Jays are 57-45 against everybody else.
Higher ground: The Sox have not been 18 games over .500 all season. … The team hasn’t won four straight games since June 15-20 when they won six straight.
Exchange rate: The Sox have scored 17 runs and are 25 of 76 at the plate in the first two games of the series. That includes 13 extra-base hits.
His turn: John Lackey has pitched poorly in his last two starts, giving up 11 runs on 17 hits and eight walks over 11.1 innings. He is 1-1, 10.97 in two starts against the Jays this season, allowing 13 runs on 16 hits and nine walks over 10.2 innings.
Go get ’em, kid: Mills is a 25-year-old rookie who will be making the fifth start of his career, the third this season. The Jays are planning to send him back to the minors after the game. He is not related to Houston manager Brad Mills, the former Sox bench coach and Terry Francona’s good friend.
Fan favorite: Mike Lowell is 9 for 29 (.261) since coming off the disabled list with seven RBIs over seven games. The Sox are 5-2 in the games he has played.
Scutar0000000000000: Marco Scutaro is hitless in his last 20 at-bats, a slump that has dropped his batting average from .279 to .267.
Shop at VMart for hits: Victor Martinez has hit safely in nine straight games, albeit at a modest 10 for 36.
What a bargain: Adrian Beltre has 34 hits and 23 RBIs in his last 24 games.
Other stuff: The Sox have 10 errors in the last eight games. … The team’s ERA is at 4.11, the lowest it has been all season. … The Sox are 4-2 on a road trip that has four games left. They have won 9 of their last 13 away from Fenway Park. … The Sox are 8-4 since the trade deadline passed counting the game played that day. … The Sox have won 10 of their last 11 games in Toronto.
On the iPod right now: Wake Up by Arcade Fire.
Check back for more later on including a live in-game blog.