The Red Sox are rolling with a right-handed heavy lineup as they look to even their series against the Yankees on Friday night.
Yankees starter Nestor Cortes — a left-handed pitcher — comes into play Friday holding opposing left-handed hitters to a measly .116/.156/.186 slash line against through his first 15 starts of the season.
With that, the likes of Jackie Bradley Jr., Franchy Cordero, and Jarren Duran are all out of Boston’s starting lineup. In their place, Christian Arroyo will get the start in right field, Bobby Dalbec will start at first base, and Rob Refsnyder will start in center while serving as Alex Cora’s leadoff hitter.
Rafael Devers and Alex Verdugo are the only two left-handed hitters in Cora’s lineup. Devers will bat out of the two-hole while Verdugo will bat sixth, per usual. Xander Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez, and Christian Vazquez will make up the 3-4-5 portion of the batting order. Behind Verdugo will be Trevor Story, Arroyo, and Dalbec.
Of these nine hitters, Devers is the only one who has taken Cortes deep in the past, and he has done so on two separate occasions.
Vazquez, after getting the night off on Thursday, will be catching rookie right-hander Connor Seabold. The 26-year-old is slated to make his first-career start at Fenway Park after being recalled from Triple-A Worcester in place of the injured Michael Wacha earlier Friday afternoon.
Seabold is in line to become the third straight rookie to start a game for the Sox after Brayan Bello did so on Wednesday and Josh Winckowski did so on Thursday. In his first two starts of the season last week, Seabold allowed eight earned runs on 15 hits, three walks, and 11 strikeouts over 8 2/3 combined innings against the Blue Jays and Cubs.
If the Red Sox can defeat the Yankees on Friday, it will mark just their 10th win of the year against a divisional opponent. First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.
(Picture of Rob Refsnyder: Paul Rutherford/Getty Images)