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Red Sox vs. Rays lineups: .500 the goal with Buchholz on the mound

The Red Sox will try to recover from a sweep in Fenway at the hands of the New York Yankees by avenging an earlier series loss to the Rays.

Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox will try to get back to even on the season and winning in the short term as they send Clay Buchholz to the mound Monday night against Jake Odorizzi and the Rays.

Kevin Kiermaier - CF Mookie Betts - CF
Steven Souza - RF Dustin Pedroia - 2B
James Loney - 1B David Ortiz - DH
Evan Longoria - 3B Hanley Ramirez - LF
David DeJesus - LF Pablo Sandoval - 3B
Logan Forsythe - 2B Mike Napoli - 1B
Asdrubal Cabrera - SS Brock Holt - RF
Joey Butler - DH Xander Bogaerts - SS
Rene Rivera - C Sandy Leon - C
Jake Odorizzi - RHP Clay Buchholz - RHP

While the Red Sox can get themselves up to .500 with a win, that's not the only "milestone" that stands in the balance. If the Jays manage to take a game from the Yankees, and the Red Sox can't beat the Rays, Toronto will leapfrog Boston, leaving the Red Sox in the cellar.

It's been a pretty short drop from first to fourth, no matter how long it's seemed to last. Hopefully the drop ends there, but with the Red Sox playing the way they have of late, those who don't fear the worst are few and far between. Having Clay Buchholz on the mound fresh off his 2.2 inning disaster against Toronto doesn't help.

At least the Rays are not the most dangerous opponent for Buchholz to be facing. But that brings us to the other side of the coin--the lineup that, on any given day, can't score runs to save their lives. That's what happened back on April 23rd when Buchholz faced the Rays in Tampa Bay. He held them to one run over six innings of work--a feat none other than Jake Odorizzi matched against the Red Sox, keeping the game even until the Rays could walk it off in the ninth.

The Red Sox can ill afford a repeat right now. They may be in a tailspin right now, but at least they haven't actually crashed and burned just yet. There's time to pull up. But the ground is getting closer and closer with each passing game.