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Red Sox vs. Tigers lineup: Jonny Gomes starts again

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Jonny Gomes is starting in left field again as the Red Sox take on Justin Verlander and the Tigers in Detroit.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Jonny Gomes will start in left field for the second straight game as the Red Sox look to go one-up on the Tigers and reclaim home field advantage against Justin Verlander.

Boston Red Sox (1-1)

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Shane Victorino, RF
  3. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  4. David Ortiz, DH
  5. Mike Napoli, 1B
  6. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
  7. Jonny Gomes, LF
  8. Stephen Drew, SS
  9. Will Middlebrooks, 3B

Starting Pitcher -- John Lackey

Detroit Tigers (1-1)

  1. Austin Jackson, CF
  2. Torii Hunter, RF
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
  4. Prince Fielder, 1B
  5. Victor Martinez, DH
  6. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  7. Alex Avila, C
  8. Omar Infante, 2B
  9. Andy Dirks, LF

Starting Pitcher -- Justin Verlander

So...Gomes.

On the one hand, this makes a lot more sense than having him in against Max Scherzer the night after Nava was the only person to look like a halfway-competent player at the plate. Scherzer, after all, has huge career splits, while Verlander is pretty dead-even, and even has reverse splits on the season.

That being said, Jonny Gomes just doesn't see right-handed pitching all that well. Not nearly as well as Daniel Nava, certainly. His big ninth-inning hit only came after three embarrassing strikeouts at the hands of Scherzer, and even then was just a ground ball that got past the hobbled Miguel Cabrera, forcing Jose Iglesias to go far beyond his normal territory to make a desperation play.

Perhaps that's what the Sox are going for, hoping that Gomes will just pull the ball to where it can do the most damage against Peralta and Cabrera. But they're taking a pretty big downgrade at the plate in terms of pure quality to try to exploit that weakness, and for that to work Gomes is going to need to do better than three strikeouts.

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