Pablo Sandoval is out of the lineup one day after taking a pitch to the knee as the Red Sox try to lock up a series win against the Rangers.
|TEXAS RANGERS (16-23)||BOSTON RED SOX (19-20)|
|Shin-Soo Choo - RF||Mookie Betts - CF|
|Delino DeShields Jr. - LF||Dustin Pedroia - 2B|
|Prince Fielder - DH||David Ortiz - DH|
|Adrian Beltre - 3B||Hanley Ramirez - LF|
|Mitch Moreland - 1B||Mike Napoli - 1B|
|Elvis Andrus - SS||Daniel Nava - RF|
|Leonys Martin - CF||Brock Holt - 3B|
|Robinson Chirinos - C||Xander Bogaerts - SS|
|Tommy Field - 2B||Blake Swihart - C|
|Phil Klein - RHP||Joe Kelly - RHP|
Scans on Sandoval's knee came back clean last night, but it's hardly a surprise to see him missing today, given how bad it looked when he went down at the plate. It might take a couple of days for Boston's third baseman to get back in action, which is a serious blow with a right-handed pitcher on the mound tonight for Texas. Given that a southpaw is lined up for Thursday, it's hard to imagine the Red Sox will rush him back for that game, either.
With Sandoval out, Brock Holt will start at the hot corner. Daniel Nava will play right field against the righty rather than Jackie Bradley Jr. Given his recent performances offensively and defensively, one can't help but wonder if the Red Sox are giving him one last chance to prove himself before they call it and give his roster spot to Rusney Castillo.
Also working for his job at this point: Joe Kelly. But he's certainly in a better place now than he was before his last outing. It's hard to pretend Kelly was as exceptional in his six innings against Oakland as the scoreboard would suggest, but he was solid. It was the ground ball fest the Red Sox had hoped for when they put together this rotation, and if he can make that happen again vs. Texas, it will be another sign that the starting five are finally taking a step forward.
First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. ET with broadcasts on NESN, WEEI, and ESPN.