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Game 5: Pirates at Red Sox

In Pivetta we trust

American League Championship Series Game 4: Houston Astros v. Boston Red Sox Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Pitching, pitching, pitching. The Red Sox have played four games, used four starting pitchers, and have two wins to show for it thanks to an impressive start to the season by the offense. Corey Kluber allowed 5 runs in 3.1 innings. Chris Sale allowed 7 in 3 innings even. Tanner Houck allowed 3 runs in 5 innings. Kutter Crawford allowed 7 runs in 4 innings. Nick Pivetta will try to break this parade and give the Sox a win over the Pittsburgh Pirates that is pitching-first. Of course, hits and runs are still welcome!

Alex Cora is right - the ball is flying. The Red Sox are tied with the Los Angeles Dodgers at 33 runs scored so far. Those 33 runs are the most for the Sox in their first four games since 2003. And what an offense that was!

But it’s not the bats - it’s the pitching. The bullpen has tossed 15 scoreless innings so far this year out of the 17 they’ve shouldered. That’s a very, very nice change.

Andrew McCutchen is back with the Pirates and in the lineup tonight. It’s not a retirement tour but it does feel right to see him in the black and gold.

Yu Chang is batting ninth for the Sox after having a monster WBC: 7-for-16, 2 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 5 R, 2 BB. Let’s see if he can carry over some of that into the 2023 season.

Kiké Hernández sits at 99 home runs…will he get #100 tonight?

Game 5: Pirates at Red Sox

Lineup spot Pirates Red Sox
Lineup spot Pirates Red Sox
1 Oneil Cruz, SS Alex Verdugo, RF
2 Bryan Reynolds, CF Rafael Devers, 3B
3 Andrew McCutchen, RF Justin Turner, DH
4 Carlos Santana, 1B Masataka Yoshida, LF
5 Ji Man Choi, DH Adam Duvall, CF
6 Ke'Bryan Hayes, 3B Triston Casas, 1B
7 Canaan Smith-Njigba, LF Kiké Hernández, SS
8 Ji Han Bae, 2B Reese McGuire, C
9 Tyler Heineman, C Yu Chang, 2B
SP Roansy Contreras, RHP Nick Pivetta, RHP

First pitch is at 7:10 PM ET on NESN and WEEI.