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Red Sox vs. Athletics lineups: First place showdown

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Nathan Eovaldi faces the AL West-leading A’s tonight back in Boston.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles
Hurt ‘em, boys.
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox return to the lowercase-f lowercase-c friendly confines of Fenway Park after a long weekend trip to Baltimore tonight when they face the A’s (7:10 p.m., NESN) behind Nathan Eovaldi.

It’s been tough sledding for Eovaldi after a strong start to the season. Last time out he was battered by the Tigers’s kittenish lineup, but everything about that series felt like it happened in the Upside-Down, so it’s possible to dismiss it on these extrajudicial grounds. (I highly recommend this.) Chris Bassitt starts for the A’s, who have to deal with the traditionally football-related problem of a West Coast team coming East, except it’s not a day game and they were just in Tampa. Other than that, it works.

The A’s are in first place in the AL West, making them the first non-last-place team the Sox have faced since April. Not that the Sox have seemed too fluky, or even fluky at all, but the degree of difficulty just went up all the same.

Not much to report for the Red Sox lineup, except that Michael Chavis gets his second start of the year and bats ninth, which is pointedly not leadoff, where he hit the first time. My working theory, to be expounded upon in tomorrow’s OTM podcast, is that Alex Cora put him in the leadoff spot at least partially to help build his confidence. One homer later, confidence built! Down to ninth.

The A’s lineup features old friends Jed Lowrie, who always hits when he’s healthy, and Mr. Two-Bags himself, Mitch Moreland. Sorry, DOCTOR Two-Bags. Miss ya, pal.

Game 37 vs. Athletics

Lineup spot Athletics Red Sox
Lineup spot Athletics Red Sox
1 Mark Canha, LF Marwin Gonzalez, 2B
2 Seth Brown, RF Alex Verdugo, CF
3 Ramon Laureano, CF J.D. Martinez, DH
4 Matt Olson, 1B Xander Bogaerts, SS
5 Jed Lowrie, 2B Rafael Devers, 3B
6 Matt Chapman, 3B Christian Vázquez, C
7 Mitch Moreland, DH Hunter Renfroe, RF
8 Sean Murphy, C Franchy Cordero, LF
9 Elvis Andrus, SS Michael Chavis, 1B
SP Chris Bassitt, RHP Nathan Eovaldi, RHP