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Red Sox vs. Orioles lineups: Price takes the mound to start East showdown

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The Red Sox turn to David Price to play...well, not stopper. Anti-stopper? Stopper spoiler? Something like that.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

David Price is on the mound in front of the usual lineup Tuesday night as the Red Sox open a big series against the Orioles in Fenway Park.


Lineup

BOSTON RED SOX BALTIMORE ORIOLES
Mookie Betts, RF TBA
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Hanley Ramirez, 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Chris Young, LF
Travis Shaw, 3B
Christian Vazquez, C
Starting Pitcher -- David Price Starting Pitcher -- Chris Tillman

The Red Sox have been trading blows with the Jays and Orioles for the entire season, it feels like. Even more so than you'd expect for divisional opponents. And with the last series featuring the Red Sox against either team until August about to start, there's nothing separating the Sox and Orioles at the top, with the Jays staying within striking distance just three games back.

For the Red Sox, the last few month has seen them mostly tread water. They're .500 since May 15th, which is not what you're looking for as a contending team, but is only truly problematic if this is them closer to their best than their worst. Which seems unlikely given how the year started.

For the Orioles, well, they're certainly staying true to their streaky selves. They went 2-8 to close out May, making some think they were perhaps on their way out, then rattled off eight wins in nine starting with the second half of their last series against the Red Sox. Now, though, they've dropped three straight against who else but the Blue Jays. The Sox hope they're getting them in the midst of a cold spell.

Usually when you're talking about an ace playing stopper, it's to end a losing streak that threatens to run out of control. That is kind of the task Chris Tillman finds facing him tonight. But for David Price, it's a strange sort of stopper scenario. The way the Orioles have run this year, being able to take the mound and keep them in their slump with Chris Tillman now four games away feels like it would be kind of a big deal. To say nothing of giving the Red Sox the AL East lead for at least the day.

First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. ET with broadcasts on NESN and WEEI.