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Red Sox at Rays lineup: Rick Porcello vs. Johnny Wholestaff

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The 2016 American League Cy Young Award winner looks to put Boston above .500 in game 3.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays
Pork chop!
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox look to move to 2-1 behind No. 3 starter Rick Porcello when they take on the Rays this afternoon in St. Petersburg, Florida (6:10 p.m. NESN).

About tonight: One day after Blake Snell & co. held the Sox to a single run, the Rays will start righty Andrew Kittredge, a reliever, as they embark on their “no fifth starter” experiment by only using the bullpen today. There are serious doubts around the league about the wisdom of this approach, and its first iteration could help Boston’s offense put up its first big game of the year.

Porcello looks to follow masterful starts by Chris Sale and David Price and to regain the form that made him the Cy Young Award winner in 2016. Meanwhile, the offense looks to wake up after two lackluster performances, Xander Bogaerts excepted. Andrew Benintendi is 0 for 8, and probably has high hopes to break out today. He’ll be in center as Jackie Bradley Jr. sits. Mitch Moreland and Sandy Leon make their 2018 starting lineup debuts, and J.D. Martinez plays the outfield for the first time in a Sox uniform.

About last night: The Sox scraped out a 1-0 win behind a stellar start from Price and a key hold by Matt Barnes, followed by an electric, three-out save by Craig Kimbrel in his first appearance of the year.

Forecast: Domin.’

A good tweet from yesterday:

LINEUPS

Game 3, Red Sox at Rays

Lineup Spot Red Sox Rays
Lineup Spot Red Sox Rays
1 Mookie Betts, RF Denard Span, DH
2 Andrew Benintendi, CF Kevin Kiermaier, CF
3 Hanley Ramirez, DH Carlos Gomez, RF
4 J.D. Martinez, LF Brad Miller, 1B
5 Xander Bogaerts, SS Matt Duffy, 3B
6 Mitch Moreland, 1B Joey Wendle, 2B
7 Eduardo Nunez, 3B Adeiny Hechavarria, SS
8 Brock Holt, 2B Mallex Smith, LF
9 Sandy Leon, C Jesus Sucre, C
SP Rick Porcello, RHP Andrew Kittredge, RHP