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Red Sox vs. Royals lineup: E-Rod’s up, Kansas City’s down, Mookie’s out

The 20-7 Red Sox take on the 7-20 Royals on the last day of April.

Boston Red Sox v Toronto Blue Jays
There he is.
Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The Red Sox (20-7) look to hit blackjack behind Eduardo Rodriguez (3-0, 3.63 ERA) against the woeful Royals (7-20) tonight at Fenway Park (7:05 p.m., NESN). Read Matt’s series preview here.

About tonight’s game: Rodriguez, who has been pitching well after a rough first outing, will look to keep Kansas City’s bats quiet. The Royals are 28th overall in team batting WAR, per Fangraphs. Neatly and sadly, they are also 28th in pitching WAR, but tonight trot out Jason Hammel (0-2, 3.38 ERA), who is obviously the exception to the rule, performance-wise.

Mookie Betts is still out of the lineup with a hamstring issue, but instead of replacing him in the leadoff spot (like yesterday, when Eduardo Nunez hit first), Alex Cora has bumped everyone up one spot, moving Andrew Benintendi into the lead. Hanley Ramirez bats second and DHs, and you can imagine where it goes from here. The good news is that Xander Bogaerts is back and hitting fifth.

About yesterday’s game: The Sox... won? Faced with an early 3-0 deficit, the team clawed back behind solid pitching from Rick Porcello and Craig Kimbrel and a timely hit by Sandy Leon to salvage the last game of the series, 4-3. Read the recap here.

Forecast: Cold and rainy. It seems like the game will start on time or a little late, and the rain will ease up by 8:30 or 9. It will merely be cold, wet and miserable thereafter, but otherwise great.

A good tweet from yesterday:


Game 28 vs. Royals

Lineup Spot Royals Red Sox
Lineup Spot Royals Red Sox
1 Whit Merrifield, 2B Andrew Benintendi, CF
2 Jorge Soler, RF Hanley Ramirez, DH
3 Mike Moustaskas, 3B J.D. Martinez, LF
4 Salvador Perez, C Mitch Moreland, 1B
5 Lucas Duda, 1B Xander Bogaerts, SS
6 Cheslor Cuthbert, DH Rafael Devers, 3B
7 Jon Jay, CF Eduardo Nunez, 2B
8 Alex Gordon, RF Jackie Bradley Jr., RF
9 Alcides Escobar, SS Christian Vazquez, C
SP Jason Hammel, RHP Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP