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Red Sox vs. Blue Jays: Time to get back on track

It’s the first game of the post-Nunie era

Boston Red Sox v Detroit Tigers Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

The Red Sox had a good chance to, and almost certainly should have taken two of three from the Dodgers this past weekend to kick off the first half. Instead, they start a four-game series with the Blue Jays tonight having lost their last two with the most recent being a wildly frustrating and long affair. If this team is going to make the push we’ve all been expecting them to make, they are running out of time and it has to start here. The Red Sox have a soft week coming up against the Blue Jays and Orioles before a stretch featuring a whole lot of games against the Yankees and Rays. They need to get some momentum — and more importantly some wins — under their belt here.

To that end, they also have to get their starting pitching going and that most certainly includes Rick Porcello. The 2016 Cy Young award winner has looked anything but Cy Young worthy for most of 2019. The Blue Jays are a weird team in that they don’t have great numbers and shouldn’t be hard to beat, but they have guys who will punish mistakes. Porcello doesn’t need to be perfect, but if he’s awful it will be noticed, and quickly.

Offensively, the Red Sox have a good opportunity to get going early and often against rookie Trent Thornton. They did just that last time they met. Boston will send out a mostly typical lineup to take on the rookie. The one adjustment is Christian Vázquez getting the day off with León catching Porcello. It’s an offensive downgrade (to put it mildly), but they should have more than enough talent in the other lineup spots to make up for it.

The full lineups are below.

Game 84 vs. Blue Jays

Lineup Spot Blue Jays Red Sox
Lineup Spot Blue Jays Red Sox
1 Eric Sogard, DH Mookie Betts, RF
2 Freddy Galvis, SS Rafael Devers, 3B
3 Lourdes Gurriel, LF Xander Bogaerts, SS
4 Cavan Biggio, 2B J.D. Martinez, DH
5 Randal Grichuk, CF Andrew Benintendi, LF
6 Justin Smoak, 1B Michael Chavis, 1B
7 Danny Jansen, C Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
8 Billy McKinney, RF Sandy León, C
9 Brandon Drury, 3B Brock Holt, 2B
SP Trent Thornton, RHP Rick Porcello, RHP