Jays send Lilly to hill against Red Sox

With second up for grabs, Jays face Red Sox

If you had told Blue Jays fans before the season that this four-game series with the Red Sox would decide second place in the American League East, it would've been cause for excitement. After all, the second-place team in the AL East has won the AL Wild Card in eight of the 11 years of the Wild Card's existence.

Unfortunately for the Jays, they won't have a chance to become the ninth AL East Wild Card. Both Toronto and Boston are virtually eliminated from playoff contention, and thus their series with the Red Sox is solely for bragging rights.

Though second place wouldn't lead to a playoff berth, it would still represent a notable breakthrough for Toronto. The Jays have finished no higher than third since they won the AL East title in 1993. In fact, Toronto has taken third place in the division nine times in the past 12 seasons.

Left-hander Ted Lilly looks to improve on his career-best 14 wins when he faces the Sox for the fourth time this season. Lilly is 1-2 with a 4.15 ERA against Boston this season, and is 5-5 with a 3.82 ERA in 19 appearances against them in his career.

Toronto faces Julian Tavarez, who is making his fifth start of the year for the Red Sox. Though he has a 5.49 ERA as a starter, he has a 1-0 record, and Boston is 3-1 when Tavarez starts.

Pitching matchup
BOS: RHP Julian Tavarez (3-4, 4.89 ERA)
Tavarez holds opposing hitters to a .254 average on the road, but they hit .330 against him at Fenway Park.

TOR: LHP Ted Lilly (14-12, 4.44 ERA)
Lilly has a 2.49 ERA in his last four starts.

Players to watch
Lyle Overbay is on a season-high 11-game hitting streak. He is hitting .366 (15-for-41) over that span.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television

On radio
• FAN 590

Up next
• Saturday: Red Sox (RHP Devern Hansack, first Major League start) at Jays (RHP A.J. Burnett, 8-8, 3.97), 4:07 p.m. ET
• Sunday: Red Sox (RHP Kyle Snyder, 4-4, 6.28) at Jays (LHP Gustavo Chacin, 8-3, 4.87), 1:07 p.m. ET
• Monday: Red Sox (RHP Tim Wakefield, 7-10, 4.50) at Jays (TBA), 7:07 p.m. ET

Mark Polishuk is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.