The Boston Red Sox will attempt to end a four-game losing streak and pull themselves back into the American League wild-card race when they open a four-game series against the visiting Kansas City Royals on Monday
The Blue Jays completed a three-game sweep of the Red Sox with a 13-1 victory on Sunday. Boston was outscored 25-8 in the series
"Tough weekend," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. "They pitched better than us, played better defense, ran the bases better and hit. There's not much we have to say. They outplayed us the whole weekend
"Obviously we've been through stuff like this the whole season, up and down -- we lose three, we win three; we lose six, we win six. So show up (Monday) and play good baseball. That's all we can do.
Left-hander Cole Ragans (3-3, 4.33 ERA) is scheduled to start on the mound for Kansas City, which had won seven in a row before suffering back-to-back losses against the Phillies on Saturday and Sunday
Ragans will be opposed by right-hander Brayan Bello (8-6, 3.79), who will be pitching with an extra day of rest
Kansas City acquired Ragans, 25, in the trade that sent Aroldis Chapman to the Texas Rangers in June. He made his Royals debut on July 15 in the second game of a doubleheader against Tampa Bay, limiting the Rays to one run on four hits in five innings, but was optioned to Triple-A Omaha after his outing
The Royals recalled Ragans from Triple-A to start against the Mets last Wednesday, when he tossed six scoreless innings in Kansas City's 4-0 victory. He struck out eight and walked one. This will be the first time Ragans has pitched against Boston
"Ever since I got here, I feel like every chance I get to throw, I try to prove that they made a good move bringing me here," Ragans said. "I'm excited for the opportunity.
Bello, who has never pitched against Kansas City, allowed four runs on eight hits in six innings to earn the win in last Tuesday's 6-4 victory against Seattle. He struck out seven and walked two
It was Bello's first victory in three outings. He allowed 13 runs in 16 innings during those three starts while also surrendering five homers
"Bello ... his innings are getting up there," Cora said. "I think it made sense for us to push him back. It's his second season. This guy is very important, not only for now but for the future. When we have a chance to give him a breather, we will.
Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez left Sunday's 8-4 loss to Philadelphia with a left hand contusion after he was hit by a pitch in the second inning. He is listed as day-to-day
Freddy Fermin, who was in Sunday's lineup as the designated hitter, replaced Perez behind the plate. Fermin homered twice in Saturday's 9-6 loss to Philadelphia
"(I'm) learning every day and creating a good plan when (it's) time to hit," Fermin said
Boston outfielder Alex Verdugo collected three hits Sunday, one day after he was pulled from the lineup for reportedly arriving to Fenway Park late. Verdugo was originally in Saturday's lineup, but was scratched. Cora called it a "manager's decision.
Monday's contest will be the fourth game of Boston's 10-game homestand
--Field Level Medi