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Red Sox at Twins lineups: The round-trip road trip moves to Minnesota

Martín Pérez takes on J.A. Happ in the 2:10 p.m. opener. There will be homers.

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Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles
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Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Red Sox and Twins square off this afternoon in Minnesota at 2:10 p.m. (NESN, MLBN and ESPN+ out-of-market) behind Martín Pérez, with Boston looking for their seventh straight win against a Twins team that led the league in homers in 2019 and was seventh in 2020. Put simply, they can hit the long ball.

Adding to the gloominess that’s concurrent with April games in the upper Midwest—it’s going to be 47 degrees and drizzly at game time, with snow expected tomorrow—the game is happening in the shadow of the Derek Chauvin murder trial and yesterday’s fatal shooting of a Black man by Minnesota police 20 miles away. All four games in the series will take place in the afternoon.

On the field, the Sox are riding high, but the Twins have the firepower to match them both in the lineup and on the mound, where they’ll send J.A. Happ today and Cy Young runner-up Kenta Maeda tomorrow. Just as the team didn’t panic after their 0-3 start, J.D. Martinez (who hit three homers yesterday; people forget that) says the Sox have to keep an even keel during the good times, per The Athletic’s Jen McCaffrey:

“When we lost three and everyone was panicking, I said, ‘Relax guys, it’s only three games. There’s still a lot more games to go,’’ Martinez said. “And I’ll say it right now — so what? We’ve won six in a row, there’s still a lot more to go. Don’t get too high, don’t get too low. Just kind of keep going, stay hungry and come out. We’ve got J.A. Happ tomorrow and the Twins, it’s a good matchup, they have a really good team over there. So it should be a good challenge for us.”

Pérez was so-so last time out, going five innings and giving up three earned runs, with six strikeouts and two walks. He was fairly consistent outside of a rocky third inning, and looks to harness his better angels against the likes of old man Nelson Cruz, who already has four homers on the young season, and younger man Byron Buxton, who will bat leadoff and, like Martinez, has five dingers on the year.

On the Sox side, Christian Vázquez is DHing and hitting second, befitting his recent surge, while Hunter Renfroe makes his first start of the year in center, with Martinez in right and Kiké Hernández in left. Alex Verdugo gets the day off against the lefty.

Game 10 at Twins

Lineup spot Red Sox Twins
Lineup spot Red Sox Twins
1 Kiké Hernández, LF Byron Buxton, CF
2 Christian Vázquez, DH Kyle Garlick, LF
3 J.D. Martinez, RF Nelson Cruz, DH
4 Xander Bogaerts, SS Mitch Garver, C
5 Rafael Devers, 3B Miguel Sanó, 1B
6 Hunter Renfroe, CF Willians Astudillo, 3B
7 Christian Arroyo, 2B Andrelton Simmons, SS
8 Bobby Dalbec, 1B Luis Arraez, 2B
9 Kevin Plawecki, C Jake Cave, RF
SP Martín Pérez, LHP J.A. Happ, LHP