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Red Sox vs. Blue Jays lineups: No Xander, no problem?

The Sox look to make it three wins in a row, this time behind Garrett Richards.

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox
More of this, please.
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox can win their third straight game and push the Blue Jays to a whopping 11.5 games back of first place when they square off at Fenway tonight (7:10 p.m., NESN, MLBN out-of-network).

Garrett Richards gets the start for Boston, and I’m running out of ways to say that his pitching hasn’t been very good and that he needs to improve it immediately to avoid being deposed by Chris Sale. Robbie Ray is pitching for the Blue Jays, and I’ve noted here that he’s putting together a career year, which hasn’t changed since the last time I wrote it, last week. As of today, the Sox have the American League’s best record, which may or may not have changed from last week, but that doesn’t matter. Today is now! Now is today! They are good today.

Tonight, however, they will not have Xander Bogaerts, for a second straight day. It seems, however abnormally, to be a second straight off day. The resulting lineup is... kinda nuts! Kevin Plawecki is at DH, and Alex Verdugo, now batting fifth, is in center. Hunter Renfroe’s batting cleanup. For, again, the best team in the A.L. Life is weird, friends. Here are the full, weird lineups:

Game 102 vs. Blue Jays

Lineup spot Blue Jays Red Sox
Lineup spot Blue Jays Red Sox
1 George Springer, CF Kiké Hernández, SS
2 Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 1B Rafael Devers, 3B
3 Marcus Semien, 2B J.D. Martinez, LF
4 Bo Bichette, SS Hunter Renfroe, RF
5 Téoscar Hernández, DH Christian Vázquez, C
6 Lourdes Gurriel Jr., LF Alex Verdugo, CF
7 Randal Grichuk, RF Kevin Plawecki, DH
8 Cavan Biggio, 3B Bobby Dalbec, 1B
9 Alejandro Kirk, C Michael Chavis, 2B
SP Robbie Ray, LHP Garrett Richards, RHP