clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Red Sox vs. Rays: Dustin Pedroia leads off, Clay Buchholz returns

Clay Buchholz is back, leading an unusual lineup onto the field for the Red Sox.


John Farrell has mixed up the batting order for the first game of the Red Sox' last series against the Rays, moving Dustin Pedroia up to the leadoff spot as the Sox try to take advantage of a struggling David Price. The real spotlight, though, will be on Clay Buchholz, returning to the mound after months on the disabled list.

Boston Red Sox (87-58)

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

Starting Pitcher -- Clay Buchholz

Tampa Bay Rays (78-64)

  1. David DeJesus, RF
  2. Ben Zobrist, 2B
  3. Evan Longoria, 3B
  4. Matt Joyce, LF
  5. James Loney, 1B
  6. Luke Scott, DH
  7. Desmond Jennings, CF
  8. Jose Molina, C
  9. Yunel Escobar, SS

Starting Pitcher -- David Price

Obligatory mention that Xander Bogaerts is absent from the lineup and Stephen Drew batting ninth in the one game this series against a lefty. My head hurts.

Putting that aside, the big news is that Clay Buchholz is back with the Red Sox for the first time since June 8th. In those first twelve starts, Buchholz was pretty much the best the game had to offer on the mound. Now, after so much time off, there's no telling how he'll do in his return. If he manages to hold down the Rays, one of the more productive offenses in the league, it'll be a good sign going forward. If he struggles, the Sox will be awfully conscious of how few opportunities remain for him to re-establish himself before the playoffs.

As for the actual win and loss, though, it probably comes down to the offense, unless Clay misses no beats and jumps right back into shutout mode. David Price has wrecked the Red Sox three times this year, and gotten knocked around once, right before he missed more than a month. Now, Price is coming off a bit of a rough streak, and hasn't been his usual dominant self in about a month. But the Red Sox have already set him right before this season. Twice, actually.

Read more Red Sox: