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Red Sox vs. Rays lineups: You throw the ball, you hit the ball, you catch the ball, you got it?

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The Red Sox look to get off the schneid with Nick Pivetta on the mound at Fenway.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox
Don’t let the season fly by, friends.
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The winless Red Sox look to regress toward competence when they face the defending American League champion Tampa Bay Rays tonight at Fenway Park (7:10 p.m., NESN, ESPN) behind Nick Pivetta. If that sentence does not strike you as particularly encouraging, know that you are not alone.

The Red Sox will be better, for sure. The problem now is that the Red Sox can be better and still lose, because their opponents are also better. But the breaks will come. Today they will have to come for Nick Pivetta, who was brutalized in his last spring training start. Whatever happens, it is still just one game, and it’s a game against the wobbly Michael Wacha, making his Rays debut, so there is hope. It’s the first night game, and hopefully the darkest before the dawn (of victory!).

It’s not just the losing. In fact, it’s hardly the losing at all. It’s the carelessness. Nothing looks right. If this happened in the middle of the regular season we’d take note, so we should do so as well now. And now we have, so that part is done.

Rafael Devers is back in the lineup, and whatever defensive issues are concomitant with that, I love the idea of Devers hitting against Wacha. Same goes for J.D. Martinez, who’s hitting third and DHing. Christian Vázquez moves up in the order while Franchy Cordero, who could have hit a walkoff homer on Saturday and declined to, bats ninth. Kiké Hernández and Marwin Gonzalez — who is playing first with Bobby Dalbec out of the lineup — move around field as they always do, but the rest is pretty normal. The Rays are the same Rays as ever—better than they look, to our chagrin. Here’s the damage:

Game 4 vs. Rays

Lineup spot Rays Red Sox
Lineup spot Rays Red Sox
1 Yoshi Tsutsugo, 1B Kiké Hernández, 2B
2 Austin Meadows, DH Alex Verdugo, CF
3 Randy Arozarena, LF J.D. Martinez, DH
4 Brandon Lowe, 2B Xander Bogaerts, SS
5 Manuel Margot, RF Rafael Devers, 3B
6 Joey Wendle, 3B Christian Vázquez, C
7 Willy Adames, SS Marwin González, 1B
8 Kevin Kiermaier, CF Hunter Renfroe, RF
9 Mike Zunino, C Franchy Cordero, LF
SP Michael Wacha, RHP Nick Pivetta, RHP