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Red Sox vs. Rangers lineups: Will Middlebrooks sits

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Will Middlebrooks will sit out Sunday night, allowing Pedro Ciriaco to take his place in the lineup and on the field.

USA TODAY Sports

The struggling Will Middlebrooks will get the day off Sunday as the Red Sox look to salvage at least one win from this series against the Rangers.

Boston Red Sox (20-10)

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Daniel Nava, RF
  3. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  4. David Ortiz, DH
  5. Mike Napoli, 1B
  6. Mike Carp, LF
  7. David Ross, C
  8. Stephen Drew, SS
  9. Pedro Ciriaco, 3B

Starting Pitcher -- Jon Lester

Texas Rangers (19-11)

  1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
  2. Elvis Andrus, SS
  3. Lance Berkman, DH
  4. Adrian Beltre, 3B
  5. Nelson Cruz, RF
  6. A.J. Pierzynski, C
  7. Jeff Baker, LF
  8. Mitch Moreland, 1B
  9. Craig Gentry, CF

Starting Pitcher -- Yu Darvish

The Red Sox have already failed this particular test. Or, at the very least, failed to pass it. Losing two on the road to a very good team, however, is something that can easily be ignored. And on some level, being swept is too. Even the best teams the game has seen over the past century have been swept at one point or another.

Still, taking this game would be big. In part because it likely means that Jon Lester will have pulled back from a couple worrisome outings. In part because it means the Red Sox will have hit Yu Darvish, who is one of the most dominant pitchers in the game right now.

No matter how this game ends, the Red Sox will be able to pick up and move on to the Twins and hopefully rebound with an easier series. But for a team whose aspirations have moved after a good April from playoff hopefuls to legitimate contenders, well, they've got to be hoping to take at least one game from the toughest challenge they've faced to date.

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