Cashner set for Red Sox debut vs. Jays

(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

(AP) -- For Andrew Cashner, a trade from the cellar-dwelling Baltimore Orioles to the playoff-contending Boston Red Sox on Saturday was met exactly as one would expect.

"It's definitely exciting. That'll more kick in once you get there," the right-hander said. "They're still the champions from last year. It'll be fun to help them get to where they want to go."

Cashner will get the chance to make his first contribution to his new team when he takes the mound against the visiting Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday in the second contest of a four-game series.

The 32-year-old veteran will be opposed by rookie Jacob Waguespack, who will be recalled from Triple-A Buffalo to make the start.

Cashner was 9-3 with a 3.83 ERA in 17 starts with the Orioles before being dealt to the Red Sox for two minor-leaguers. In his last five starts with Baltimore, he went 3-1 with a 1.41 ERA in 32 innings.

Upon making the trade, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski noted the team was embarking "on a really important part of our schedule." Boston's 10-8 win over Toronto on Monday in the series opener was the first of 21 straight games the Red Sox will play against American League East rivals as they look to gain ground on the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays in the standings.

Of note, Monday's win nearly wasn't one, as the Blue Jays trimmed a six-run deficit to two by scoring four times against the bullpen in the eighth inning. Though the Red Sox held on, their relievers have still blown a major-league-leading 18 saves this year, inspiring little confidence that even a late six-run lead is safe.

"If we're going to pull this off, we have to be better all around," Boston manager Alex Cora said. "We won, but we made some mistakes throughout. We've got to keep improving."

For the Blue Jays, the rally still represented a positive despite ultimately falling short. Toronto had been held to two runs or fewer five times in its past six games entering the contest.

Outfielder Billy McKinney dealt the biggest blow, hitting a two-run home run after being recalled from Triple-A Buffalo earlier in the day. He had two hits in his first major league game since June 26.

"I was just trying to have a positive mindset," McKinney said of his time in the minors. "I know it's not too easy sometimes, but a positive attitude just changes everything. When you have a positive attitude, it really helps to work toward something. That's what I was really trying to do is focus on my craft and be positive."

If Cashner is focusing on his positives, he'll look to his 2.49 ERA lifetime against the Blue Jays in eight starts (3-2). A glaring negative, though, is his 7.20 ERA in 10 career innings at Fenway Park.

Waguespack (1-0, 5.00 ERA) will be facing the Red Sox for the second time. The 25-year-old righty will be making his first big-league start in his third major league appearance.

Waguespack made his debut on May 27, allowing three runs (two earned) in four innings at Tampa Bay. He was credited with the win vs. Boston on July 3, when he gave up three runs on six hits with no walks and four strikeouts in five innings during Toronto's 6-3 home victory.

In 12 games (11 starts) for Buffalo this year, Waguespack is 2-6 with a 5.30 ERA.

--Field Level Media

Updated July 16, 2019

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