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Red Sox vs. Orioles Lineups: Stephen Drew debuts

Stephen Drew will make his Red Sox debut Wednesday night as Ryan Dempster tries to give the Red Sox their sixth win in eight tries.

J. Meric

The Red Sox have Stephen Drew in the lineup for the first time in the regular season Wednesday night, batting eighth and playing shortstop. Jackie Bradley Jr., back in after taking Monday's game off, will move down to the ninth spot.

Boston Red Sox (5-2)

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Shane Victorino, RF
  3. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  4. Mike Napoli, 1B
  5. Will Middlebrooks, 3B
  6. Daniel Nava, DH
  7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
  8. Stephen Drew, SS
  9. Jackie Bradley Jr., LF

Starting Pitcher -- Ryan Dempster

Baltimore Orioles (3-4)

  1. Nate McLouth, LF
  2. Manny Machado, 3B
  3. Nick Markakis, RF
  4. Adam Jones, CF
  5. Chris Davis, 1B
  6. Matt Wieters, C
  7. J.J. Hardy, SS
  8. Ryan Flaherty, 2B
  9. Nolan Reimold, DH

Starting Pitcher -- Jake Arrieta

This is another one of those early season games that really feels important. On some level, there's a sense of fragility to these good times. Later on in the season, a three-game losing streak can be absorbed. 31-21, for instance, becomes 31-24. It still looks pretty good, even if those three games were really bad. Right now, though, a three-game losing streak leaves the Red Sox 5-5, and there's nothing that feels or looks so good about that.

Why am I talking about three-game losing streaks? Well, that's because Alfredo Aceves is going to take the hill tomorrow, and then we've got Alex Cobb vs. Felix Doubront. Neither game is unwinnable, the latter in particular, but coming out of Aceves' start with a win would feel pretty miraculous, and that game with Doubront on the mound might just depend on if he's in disaster or lockdown mode.

What makes winning tonight even more important, though, is that a win tonight will probably involve a good outing from Ryan Dempster. His first performance wasn't fantastic, but decent enough to be easily wiped away by a positive performance tonight. Lester and Buchholz have looked incredible, which is a big boost by itself, but adding Dempster to the club would on a whole different level.