At stake Thursday: Historic embarrassment

BOSTON -- The Red Sox must win Thursday to avoid losing all six games of this homestand, having lost three straight to the Tigers over the weekend and the first two games of a three-game set against the Blue Jays.

If the Sox lose, it will be only the second time in their history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, that they will have lost every game in a homestand lasting six games or longer. In 1994, the Sons of Butch Hobson lost six straight from June 10-15, getting swept by both the Orioles and Twins.

The Sox, losers of six in a row overall, have been outscored 26-11 on this homestand and have allowed six or more runs in each of the last four games. The most runs they have scored in any game in this homestand is four, in each of the two games against the Blue Jays.

Astonishingly, they have led in exactly one inning of the 45 they have played thus far in the homestand. That came Sunday against the Tigers, when Xander Bogaerts singled in a run in the second to give the Sox a 1-0 lead. That advantage didn't last long, as Victor Martinez hit a two-run home run in the top of the third off Jake Peavy.

The Sox will send their ace, Jon Lester, to the mound Thursday, but the Jays are countering with Mark Buehrle, who is 7-1 with a 2.11 ERA. The Sox handed Buehrle his only loss on April 25 in Toronto, scoring seven runs (six earned) on 12 hits in Buehrle's 5 1/3 innings of an 8-1 Sox win.