The Blue Jays were dealt another blow to what has already been a disappointing season on Tuesday. The club announced that Josh Johnson was scratched from his start against the Red Sox on Wednesday due to soreness in his right forearm and will be placed on the 15-day disabled list instead.
"Doctors are just taking a look at him now and they're going to send him for MRIs," general manager Alex Anthopoulos said early Tuesday evening. "Off the exams, structurally and things like that, it doesn't look serious, but he doesn't feel right."
Even if it isn't serious, the missed time will make it difficult for Johnson to return before the end of the season.
Esmil Rogers will start in Johnson's place and will have to face a Red Sox team that has scored more runs than any team in baseball. The Blue Jays planned to use Rogers in the bullpen after he accumulated an 8.50 ERA over his last seven starts. Instead Johnson's injury thrusts him back into the rotation -- at least for now.
The Red Sox will hand the ball to Jon Lester. It will be his fifth start against Toronto this season, more than any other team he's faced. In the first four meetings, Lester is 3-0 with a 2.79 ERA, a mark that is more than 1 1/2 runs lower than his 4.37 total this season.
He rallied from a shaky first inning in his last start to give up three runs (one earned) over seven innings against the Royals.
The Sox lost three of four in that series against the Royals, but they have been a resilient team and for the most part have contained their struggles to short stretches. They beat the Blue Jays, 4-2, to get back on track Tuesday.
Manager John Farrell, who was at Toronto's helm last season, attributes a lot of the success to the chemistry the players have with each other and the coaches.
"I think the one thing that we strive for is that we've become a tight-knit group," Farrell said. "That we've faced the challenges that are presented, whether it's on the field, in the clubhouse, off the field, and I think it's important to build a rapport with guys so that they know they have my support in challenging times or questionable times, and I think that's one of the ways you earn their respect along the way."
Red Sox: Ross struggles at the plate in Triple-A
As part of his rehab from a concussion, backup catcher David Ross caught five innings for Triple-A Pawtucket.
He didn't have a good day at the plate, striking out in each of his three plate appearances.
The Red Sox plan to activate Ross on Monday when the team opens up a three-game series against the Giants in San Francisco.
Ross hasn't appeared in the Red Sox's lineup since June 14.
Blue Jays: Rasmus banged up
It's possible starter Josh Johnson could have company on the disabled list Wednesday.
Colby Rasmus missed his second straight game with an oblique injury and if he doesn't feel healthy enough to hit in a cage Wednesday morning, the outfielder could be headed to the DL.
"I've had oblique injuries throughout playing and it's nothing to play with," Rasmus said. "There were times when I played through it and it wasn't the best thing for me and the ballclub. So this time I'm just going to make sure I do right and minimize the time."
Since the beginning of July, Rasmus is hitting .331 with four homers, 14 doubles and 22 RBIs while posting an .899 OPS over 36 games.
• Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew's season-high 12-game hit streak came to an end after going 0-for-3 on Tuesday.
• Through eight games of the season-long 11-day, 10-game road trip, the Red Sox have compiled a 4-4 record.
• The Blue Jays have lost 11 of their last 15 games at Rogers Centre. Overall, they are 29-32 at home.
Michael Periatt is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Michael Periatt. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.