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Red Sox vs. Orioles lineups: Ladies and gentlemen, the opener

The weekend starts early when the Sox and Orioles open the season a day late at Fenway Park.

Minnesota Twins v Boston Red Sox
Yeah buddy.
Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

The Red Sox and Orioles (finally) square off for the first proper opening day in two years this afternoon (2:10 p.m., NESN) at Fenway Park.

After a rainout, they’re back. We’re back. And so are the fans, a little more than 4,500 of them. Last year’s nightmare won’t ever really be over, but the Sox can officially begin to put their putrid 2020 behind them behind Nathan Eovaldi today. Eovaldi, starting in place of injured Eduardo Rodriguez, will make his second consecutive opening day start against Baltimore. Last year’s was pretty good, and Eovaldi (who throws 100 in January, one suspects) looks to repeat the effort against an Orioles team starting John Means.

The batting order is one that was pretty much set by the end of spring. Kiké Hernández will make his Red Sox debut in the leadoff spot and play second. Alex Verdugo is Jackie Bradley Jr.’s opening day replacement in center field, while J.D. Martinez is at DH and batting third. Xander Bogaerts bats cleanup, Rafael Devers hits fifth, Hunter Renfroe, in cavernous right field, is sixth, and you can imagine where it goes before, or just look below. They need to start fast to stay afloat, says management, and it is time to start!

For Bogaerts, his eighth straight start at short ties the team record, which he will presumably blow past next year, but there’s no time like the present:

The Orioles start a very Orioles lineup, anchored by star prospect Ryan Mountcastle batting cleanup. In “new faces in new places” news, Mikael Franco fulfills his destiny, starting at third and batting sixth.

There will be a flyover before the game with aircrafts from three New England states, and 100 frontline healthcare workers will be honored for their efforts to fight COVID-19. The ceremony will be broadcast on NESN. If you’re going to the game, first of all, awesome, second, you’ll have to pass a health screen on the way in.

Game 1 vs. Orioles

Lineup spot Orioles Red Sox
Lineup spot Orioles Red Sox
1 Cedric Mullins, CF Kiké Hernández, 2B
2 Trey Mancini, 1B Alex Verdugo, CF
3 Anthony Santander, RF J.D. Martinez, DH
4 Ryan Mountcastle, DH Xander Bogaerts, SS
5 Rio Ruiz, 2B Rafael Devers, 3B
6 Austin Hays, LF Hunter Renfroe, RF
7 Mikael Franco, 3B Marwin Gonzalez, LF
8 Freddy Galvis, SS Christian Vázquez, C
9 Pedro Severino, C Bobby Dalbec, 1B
SP John Means, LHP Nathan Eovaldi, RHP