TORONTO -- Greetings from another day of indoor baseball, where outside there are more construction cranes than any other city in North America, according to the locals. Toronto is in the midst of an amazing building boom ... must be the mayor, I guess.
But I digress. Mike Napoli is out of the lineup (2 for 16, 9 K's) versus Toronto's starting pitcher, right-hander Brandon Morrow. Knuckleballin' Mike Carp is playing first base and batting cleanup. It's only the second time this season someone other than Napoli has batted in the No. 4 hole. Jonny Gomes went 1 for 4 with a couple of walks batting cleanup in a 6-4 win over the White Sox on April 16. Napoli is sitting despite having reached in a career-high 20 straight games and 22 of his 23 games this season.
Carp batted in the No. 4 hole nine times last season, including four starts. He was 1 for 14 (.071).
Rookie shortstop Xander Bogaerts is also sitting out, with Jonathan Herrera playing short and batting eighth. Manager John Farrell said Bogaerts has had a touch of the flu. Bogaerts has a nine-game hitting streak (.303, 10 for 33), longest by a Sox player this season.
Clay Buchholz, who is typically a beast when he pitches here, draws the start against the Jays. Buchholz has a 7-2 record with a 1.49 ERA in 10 career starts against the Jays, and has never allowed more than three earned runs in an outing. The Blue Jays handed Buchholz his only loss of the 2013 season, beating him 4-2 on Sept. 21 in Fenway Park.
Finally, a followup to my story on that curveball Jake Peavy threw to Jose Bautista, striking him out with two on in the sixth. The idea was a great one, but Farrell noted that Peavy missed badly with his location. The pitch was away; Peavy threw a backup curveball, the pitch breaking on the inside corner.
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Shane Victorino, RF
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Carp, 1B
Grady Sizemore, LF
Jonathan Herrera, SS
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Clay Buchholz, RHP