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Blue Jays vs. Red Sox: the Second Big Series

Jonathan Williams@@jonathanbwCorrespondent IMay 19, 2009

TORONTO - APRIL 6:  Alex Rios #15 of the Toronto Blue Jays runs the bases against the Detroit Tigers during their MLB game at the Rogers Centre April 6, 2009 in Toronto, Ontario.(Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

Alex Rios' triple against Chicago won the sweep for the Blue Jays tonight. But Blue Jays fans have eyes for one series this week.

For the second time in a week, the Toronto Blue Jays begin a big series with consequences for the American League East division. 

The first meeting of the season between the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays will determine one thing: if the Blue Jays can continue to hang with the big guys in the division. 

One thing it will not do is determine who is in first. 

The win tonight put the Blue Jays out in front by three and a half games ahead of the idle, Red Sox.

The Blue Jays are going to be starting left-handers Brian Tallet and Brett Cecil, and right-handed Robert Ray for the three games. They will face, in order, right-handers Tim Wakefield and Brad Penny, and left-hander Jon Lester.

With Kevin Youkilis and Russ Ortis possibly scheduled to return for this series, it will be an interesting match up.

The Blue Jays and Red Sox shared wins last season, as they split as each won nine games over the course of 2008.

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Scott Richmond was the last starting pitcher for the Blue Jays against the Red Sox.  Daisuke Matsuzaka, who started, won that game 3-0 for the Red Sox.

This series could put Toronto firmly in the drivers seat going forward toward June, if they can win the series. A win would help the Blue Jays gain a firm grasp at the top and allow them some breathing space.

If the Sox can sweep, they will be a half game back and be poised to retake the division lead. 

Either way, it will be exciting.

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