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Red Sox vs. Indians: Stephen Drew starts at shortstop

Jim Rogash

Stephen Drew will make his return to the Red Sox Monday night as they send John Lackey to the mound against a struggling Justin Masterson.

Stephen Drew will make his 2014 debut with the Red Sox Monday night as they send John Lackey to the mound to defend their seven-game winning streak against Justin Masterson and the Indians.

Today's Lineups

BOSTON RED SOX CLEVELAND INDIANS
Brock Holt - 1B Michael Bourn - CF
Xander Bogaerts - 3B A. Cabrera - SS
Dustin Pedroia - 2B M. Brantley - LF
David Ortiz - DH Jason Kipnis - 2B
A.J. Pierzynski - C L. Chisenhall - 1B
Jonny Gomes - LF Jason Giambi - DH
Grady Sizemore - RF Yan Gomes - C
Stephen Drew - SS David Murphy - RF
Jackie Bradley - CF Mike Aviles - 3B
John Lackey - RHP Justin Masterson - RHP

The Red Sox' lineup is as expected. With Mikes Napoli and Carp on the disabled list and no obvious replacement available at first base, the organization doesn't have to answer the potentially tricky question of how to fit Brock Holt's hot bat into the lineup just yet.

Stephen Drew, on the other hand, is a much less difficult fit. We've known Xander Bogaerts would move to third base to make room for him, and for all that Jonathan Herrera lays down some important bunts, his presence in the lineup will not exactly be missed.

The matchup on the mound looks tough at first glance, but so far 2014 has treated Lackey and Masterson very differently indeed. Lackey has not only carried over his success from 2013, but ticked it up a notch in just about every aspect, whereas Masterson has fallen completely apart. He's walking a career high 4.41 batters per nine innings, striking out 7.75 (compared to 9.09 last year), and has a 5.21 ERA to reflect that. One has to wonder, with his velocity down a couple miles per hour across the board, just how right he is physically.

Still, however good the situation looks, the Red Sox still have to go out there and get the job done if they're to make it eight straight. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. EST with broadcasts on NESN and WEEI.

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