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Game 73: Red Sox at Twins

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Colorado Rockies v Boston Red Sox Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Red Sox are flying high as they enter the Midwest (or is Minnesota just the North?) to take on the Minnesota Twins. A four-game winning streak has put Boston 1.5 games back of the 4th place Toronto Blue Jays and 2 games back of the 3rd place Yankees. They are 2 games out of the Wild Card.

James Paxton signed a multi-year deal to rehab and return to the Red Sox, presumably, because Boston is usually competitive. So far he’s been pitching well enough to either drag the Sox into the playoffs or find himself on a playoff team come August. Tonight his goal is simple: shut down the Twins. He brings a 3.09 ERA (same as his FIP) into the start against a lineup that has struggled against lefties (.220/.293/.368) as opposed to right-handed pitchers (.233/.315/.406).

Pablo Lopez was acquired from the Miami Marlins over the winter to help bolster the Minnesota rotation. And he’s been about as good as advertised. His 4.27 ERA against a 3.57 FIP indicates that he’s been a little lucky. His 101 strikeouts against just 23 walks in 84.2 innings is intimidating. The Sox missed him when the Twins visited Fenway earlier this season and that was probably a good thing given his year, although previous exposure to a pitcher is helpful to the offense.

Justin Turner has the night off with Jarren Duran sliding into left field and Masataka Yoshida to DH.

Byron Buxton is out of the outfield and DHing for the Twins which keeps his defensive prowess on the bench.

Game 73: Red Sox at Twins

Lineup spot Red Sox Twins
Lineup spot Red Sox Twins
1 Jarren Duran, LF Donovan Solano, 1B
2 Alex Verdugo, RF Edouard Julien, 2B
3 Rafael Devers, 3B Byron Buxton, DH
4 Adam Duvall, CF Carlos Correa, SS
5 Masataka Yoshida, DH Alex Kirilloff, RF
6 Christian Arroyo, 2B Willi Castro, CF
7 Triston Casas, 1B Kyle Farmer, 3B
8 Connor Wong, C Joey Gallo, LF
9 Pablo Reyes, SS Christian Vázquez, C
SP James Paxton, LHP Pablo Lopez, RHP

First pitch is at 7:40 PM ET on WEEI and NESN.