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Red Sox vs. Athletics: Rubby De La Rosa's last ride?

Rich Gagnon

Rubby De La Rosa is likely making his last start for the Red Sox before heading back to Pawtucket.

The Red Sox will be without Xander Bogaerts Saturday afternoon as they give Rubby De La Rosa perhaps his last start before he returns to Pawtucket.

Today's Lineups

BOSTON RED SOX OAKLAND A'S
Brock Holt - RF Coco Crisp - CF
Dustin Pedroia - 2B John Jaso - C
David Ortiz - DH Yoenis Cespedes - DH
Mike Napoli - 1B Brandon Moss - LF
Daniel Nava - LF Josh Donaldson - 3B
A.J. Pierzynski - C Jed Lowrie - SS
Stephen Drew - SS Stephen Vogt - RF
J. Herrera - 3B A. Callaspo - 1B
Jackie Bradley - CF Eric Sogard - 2B

Losing Xander makes a struggling lineup look that much worse, but given his .525 OPS in June, Bogaerts hasn't exactly been part of the solution in this most recent team-wide slump. That's not to say Jonathan Herrera is an answer, just that Bogaerts could probably use a day off, even if he was out of the lineup not long back with flu-like symptoms.

More interesting than the lineup is the man they're playing behind today: Rubby De La Rosa. Through no fault of his own, this is very likely De La Rosa's last start with the Red Sox for now. He's been a mixed bag on the mound for the team in his four starts, providing two impressive performances against the Twins and Rays, and struggling through a pair against the Tigers and Orioles. What we've seen, though, is the potential he has if he can fully harness his fastball. It's a foundation to build on when he returns to the minors, and if he manages a decent outing against a good offensive team in the Athletics today, he can leave the team with a good last impression to consider when next they need a spot starter.

First pitch is mercifully at 4:05 p.m. ET with broadcasts on NESN, WEEI, and the MLB Network.

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