The Red Sox are suddenly just six back in the AL East -- okay, six is still a lot, but things look slightly better than they did on Monday. They can maybe improve that even further with a Canaday Day victory against the Blue Jays, giving them a series win up in Toronto. They'll rely on Rick Porcello for this -- hopefully a version of him that throws a whole lot of sinkers -- and also could get a boost from the return of Hanley Ramirez to the lineup.
|BOSTON RED SOX||TORONTO BLUE JAYS|
|Mookie Betts - CF||Jose Reyes - SS|
|Xander Bogaerts - SS||Josh Donaldson - 3B|
|David Ortiz - DH||Jose Bautista - RF|
|Hanley Ramirez - LF||Edwin Encarnacion - DH|
|Pablo Sandoval - 3B||Russell Martin - C|
|Mike Napoli - 1B||Justin Smoak - 1B|
|Alejandro De Aza - RF||Kevin Pillar - CF|
|Deven Marrero - 2B||Ezequiel Carrera - LF|
|Sandy Leon - C||Ryan Goins - 2B|
|Rick Porcello - RHP||Mark Buehrle - LHP|
That's not the only notable lineup addition, as shortstop prospect Deven Marrero gets the start at second (his first in the majors!) while Alejandro De Aza plays in right field, leaving Brock Holt on the bench as necessary. If the Sox can knock the lefty Mark Buehrle out of the game early, maybe Holt will come in against a reliever, but at least the bench isn't as short as it's been in recent days thanks to Hanley's return.
It's the first of July, and the Red Sox need to win a whole bunch of games to justify not selling at the end of this month. A victory today is a step in the right direction, especially against one of the AL East teams also vying for relevancy this month.