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Red Sox vs. Rays lineup: Xander’s back for the homestand

The Red Sox return to Fenway to face a Tampa Bay team that’s won six games in a row.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox
Yeah buddy.
Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox (19-5) finally return to Fenway Park after a West Coast road trip (which ran home through Canada) when they take on the surging Rays (10-13) — again — behind lefty Drew Pomeranz (0-0, 7.36 ERA) to open the three game set (7:10 p.m., NESN). Read Matt’s series preview here.

About tonight’s game: Xander Bogaerts returns to the starting lineup after being sent to the Disabled List on April 9. Before that he was merely Boston’s best hitter by a country mile, but the team to which he’s returning is a bit heavier-hitting than the one he left. They might have to be tonight for Drew Pomeranz (0-0, 7.36 ERA), who was kicked around in his first start of the year. He’ll be matched by Rays lefty Blake Snell (3-1, 2.54 ERA), whose Tampa Bay squad has won six games in a row.

Bogaerts is back just in time, as Brock Holt’s hot streak came to an abrupt end yesterday when he suffered a hamstring injury. He’s on the DL. Andrew Benintendi sits this one out, likely due to his recent struggles against lefties, which bumps Hanley Ramirez and J.D. Martinez up in the order to second and third. Mitch Moreland’s at first and bats cleanup, Bogaerts bats fifth, and as Rafael Devers also gets an off day, Eduardo Nunez bats sixth and plays third. What else? Tzu-Wei Lin’s at second, and Alex Cora said before the game that Craig Kimbrel was likely unavailable after three straight nights of work.

About last night’s game: Boston overcame an uncharacteristically difficult start for Chris Sale behind a J.D. Martinez homer and Kimbrel nailed down his second save in as many games as the Sox escaped Toronto with a 5-4 win. Read the recap here.

Forecast: Around 50 degrees with a slight chance of rain. Not ideal, but not the worst either.

A good tweet from last night, given the situation:


Game 25 vs. Rays

Lineup Spot Rays Red Sox
Lineup Spot Rays Red Sox
1 Matt Duffy, 3B Mookie Betts, RF
2 C.J. Cron, DH Hanley Ramirez, DH
3 Carlos Gomez, RF J.D. Martinez, LF
4 Wilson Ramos, C Mitch Moreland, 1B
5 Daniel Robertson, 2B Xander Bogaerts, SS
6 Brad Miller, 1B Eduardo Nunez, 3B
7 Adeiny Hechavarria, SS Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
8 Mallex Smith, CF Christian Vazquez, C
9 Rob Refsnyder, LF Tzu-Wei Lin, 2B
SP Blake Snell, LHP Drew Pomeranz, LHP