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Red Sox vs. Twins Lineups: The time of must-win games has begun

The Red Sox need to win series, which means they need to win tonight.

Minnesota Twins Vs. Boston Red Sox At Fenway Park Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Tuesday was a brutal game for the Red Sox, finding themselves in a big hole early in the night and being unable to dig themselves out. Now, they have to put that one behind them and take the next two, as they basically need to win every series the rest of the way if they are going to make a serious push at the playoffs. I said at the start of the month that they had seven games they could lose in September if they were going to get to 92 wins, a mark that seems like the realistic goal for a playoff berth. Tuesday was the first of those seven. In other words, they have six to go.

For Wednesday’s game, they’ll have Eduardo Rodriguez on the mound to try and do better than Porcello last night. The lefty has been very good for most of the year, and this is going to be a major test. The Twins have a ton of power, and with guys like Nelson Cruz, Miguel Sanó and C.J. Cron a good amount is from the right side. Rodriguez has found a new level by being more aggressive in the zone. He’s going to have to find a way to balance that style with his strikeout stuff if he’s going to beat this lineup.

On the other end, the Red Sox have a very interesting matchup against José Berríos. The Twins righty dominated Boston when these two teams met in the first half in what was perhaps the best pitching performance the Red Sox saw this year. He’s been a different guy of late, though, apparently having lost his mechanics for most of August. The Twins have been looking for ways to get their ace back on track, and he did look better his last time out. Boston’s offense did a good job of fighting their way back on Tuesday, but they’ll be better served getting on the board early and shaking the confidence of Berríos in the first couple frames.

The full lineups are below:

Game 144 vs. Yankees

Lineup Spot Yankees Red Sox
Lineup Spot Yankees Red Sox
1 DJ LeMahieu, 2B Mookie Betts, RF
2 Aaron Judge, RF Rafael Devers, 3B
3 Gleyber Torres, SS Xander Bogaerts, SS
4 Edwin Encarnación, 1B J.D. Martinez, DH
5 Luke Voit, DH Christian Vázquez, C
6 Brett Gardner, CF Sam Travis, 1B
7 Gio Urshela, 3B Brock Holt, 2B
8 Cameron Maybin, LF Gorkys Hernández, LF
9 Austin Romine, C Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
SP James Paxton, LHP Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP