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Red Sox vs. Yankees: Jarrod Saltalamacchia returns, Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli sit

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Jarrod Saltalamacchia is back in the lineup Sunday afternoon. Noticeably missing: Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli.

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox will have their starting catcher back behind the plate Sunday afternoon as they try to take out Hiroki Kuroda for the fourth time this year and sweep the Yankees in their own house.

Boston Red Sox (87-57)

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

Starting Pitcher -- Jon Lester

New York Yankees (75-67)

  1. Ichiro Suzuki, RF
  2. Vernon Wells, DH
  3. Alfonso Soriano, LF
  4. Robinson Cano, 2B
  5. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
  6. Mark Reynolds, 1B
  7. Curtis Granderson, CF
  8. Eduardo Nunez, SS
  9. Chris Stewart, C

Starting Pitcher -- Hiroki Kuroda

After a week of David Ross wearing out his knees and Ryan Lavarnway flailing around behind the plate, having Jarrod Saltalamacchia back behind the plate is surprisingly comforting. Less comforting is the absence of two of the hottest bats on the team in Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli, but by this point everyone is a little banged up, and the Sox have largely achieved what they came to New York to do, so getting them a couple of days off in a row doesn't seem like such a bad idea.

It also doesn't hurt that their replacements--Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mike Carp--are left-handed. Hiroki Kuroda has been particularly stingy against same-handed pitching this season, after all, and even if Shane has suddenly discovered he's Miguel Cabrera hitting righty-on-righty, Kuroda is probably not the guy to flaunt conventional wisdom against.

Given that Jon Lester, who just went pitch-for-pitch with the league's best in Max Scherzer, is the man opposing Kuroda, we might--just might--be in store for slightly less insanity today than we've seen so far this series. On the other hand, Lester and Kuroda could both leave before the fifth, leaving us with another ridiculous 20-run shootout. Right now, in New Yankee Stadium, anything seems possible.

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