Dustin Pedroia is back in the lineup, but Hanley Ramirez is missing as the Sox try to clinch their series against the Orioles.
|BOSTON RED SOX||BALTIMORE ORIOLES|
|Dustin Pedroia, 2B||Adam Jones, CF|
|Xander Bogaerts, SS||Hyun Soo Kim, LF|
|David Ortiz, DH||Manny Machado, 3B|
|Mookie Betts, RF||Chris Davis, 1B|
|Travis Shaw, 1B||Mark Trumbo, RF|
|Aaron Hill, 3B||Pedro Alvarez, DH|
|Jackie Bradley Jr., CF||Jonathan Schoop, 2B|
|Sandy Leon, C||Matt Wieters, C|
|Andrew Benintendi, LF||J.J. Hardy, SS|
|SP - Clay Buchholz||SP - Ubaldo Jimenez|
Hanley’s absence notably comes one day after he fouled a ball off his own foot, sending him hobbling out of the box, if not out of the game. The Sox have been picking up small dings and dents here and there in these final days of the regular season, but so far nothing too serious. Hopefully this is more of the same.
Ramirez will miss out on quite the opportunity, unfortunately. After some more impressive pitching matchups, things have kind of fallen off a cliff for game three here. Clay Buchholz managed to avoid much damage in his last outing, but really wasn’t all that impressive in surviving the six innings he did, doing relatively little work towards burying the disaster outing on the eleventh against the Jays. With Eduardo Rodriguez putting on an impressive performance on Tuesday, Buchholz will need to step up to keep pace with him (and perhaps get out ahead of Drew Pomeranz) in the push to earn a playoff rotation spot.
And yet, Buchholz is still the more impressive of the pitchers tonight, with Ubaldo Jimenez taking the mound for the Orioles. Give Jimenez this: things haven’t been so bad of late for him. He has a 3.51 ERA dating back to July 28th, with even better numbers since he rejoined the rotation full-time on August 25th. He’s very much been on a roll. But there’s no team better equipped to derail him than these Red Sox.
With two wins already, the Sox have sealed at least the status quo against the Orioles for the series—a perfectly reasonable outcome for the division leaders. They’ll try and really put an end to any Baltimore hopes for the East with one more victory starting at 7:05 p.m. ET with broadcasts on NESN, WEEI, and ESPN.