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Red Sox vs. Twins lineups: Christian Vazquez faces the knuckleball

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Good luck, Vazquez. You may well need it.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

It's Christian Vazquez' turn to try and corral the knuckleball. May he have better luck than his predecessor.


Lineup

BOSTON RED SOX MINNESOTA TWINS
Mookie Betts, RF Eduardo Nunez, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B Robbie Grossman, LF
Xander Bogaerts, SS Joe Mauer, DH
David Ortiz, DH Trevor Plouffe, 3B
Hanley Ramirez, 1B Brian Dozier, 2B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF Byung Ho Park, 1B
Travis Shaw, 3B Max Kepler, RF
Chris Young, LF Kurt Suzuki, C
Christian Vazquez, C Byron Buxton, CF
Starting Pitcher -- Steven Wright Starting Pitcher -- Tyler Duffy

It's been a bit of a rough stretch for the Red Sox of late, both in terms of competition and results. The Twins are supposed to represent the eye of the storm after four straight series (and five-in-seven) against winning teams. The Red Sox just have to actually take advantage of that.

Tonight should give them a very good chance to do just that. They've got Steven Wright on the mound, and while his last outing was equal parts bizarre and short, he still sits at a 2.29 ERA, and has easily been Boston's best on the mound. The problems for Wright have always been more about what happens after the pitch crosses the plate, as Ryan Hanigan has struggled mightily to handle the knuckleball. With Hanigan on the DL, Christian Vazquez will have to face down the difficult pitch--one he's rarely handled before.

Wright will take on Tyler Duffey, a Sophomore with a 4.79 ERA. Granted, Duffy's peripherals are better, but he doesn't have overwhelming velocity, and relies pretty heavily on a knuckle curve, which the Red Sox are reasonably good against. This is a pretty hard lineup to keep down for long with a limited repertoire.

First pitch is at 8:10 p.m. with broadcasts on NESN and WEEI.