Red Sox Lineup: Jose Peraza Gets First Start of Season in Left Field in Series Finale Against Rays

After stranding the bases loaded in the ninth inning of a 5-1 loss to the Rays on Tuesday, the Red Sox will look to wrap up their first road-trip of the season with a bounce-back win in St. Petersburg on Wednesday.

Left-hander Martin Perez will be making his third start of the year for Boston as he is coming off his first victory in a Red Sox uniform in his last time out against the Mets.

In five career outings (four starts) at Tropicana Field, the 29-year-old Perez owns a lifetime 8.39 ERA and .927 OPS against the Rays over 24 2/3 total innings of work.

Here is how the rest of the Red Sox will be lining up behind Perez and against Rays’ starter Ryan Yarbrough on Wednesday night:

Among the nine hitters in Boston’s lineup, J.D. Martinez has by far seen Yarbrough the best, as the 33-year-old owns a lifetime .636/.667/1.182 slash line in 11 career at-bats against the Rays southpaw.

Also worth noting here, Jose Peraza will be making his first start in left field with the Red Sox, a position he played 33 times while a member of the Cincinnati Reds.

With Peraza manning left field in this one, Andrew Benintendi will start the night on the bench, while the left-handed bats of Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mitch Moreland will also sit with a left-hander on the mound for Tampa Bay.

First pitch Thursday is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. eastern time on NESN and WEEI. Red Sox going for win No. 4 in game No. 12.

Red Sox Lineup: Andrew Benintendi Back in Leadoff Spot for Series Opener Against Rays

After their first off day of the season on Monday, the Red Sox will look to end their seven-game road trip on a high note in Tampa Bay.

Facing off against the 4-6 Rays, losers of five straight, for the first of two at Tropicana Field, the 3-7 Red Sox, losers of three straight, will send right-hander Nathan Eovaldi to the mound on Tuesday night.

Through his first two starts of 2020, Eovaldi owns an ERA of 2.45, a WHIP of 1.36, and a FIP of 3.59 over 11 innings of work. The Red Sox are thus far unbeaten when the 30-year-old has taken the mound this season.

In his career at the Trop, the one-time Rays hurler has surrendered 24 runs (23 earned) over nine outings (eight starts) and 47 total innings pitched. That’s good for an ERA of 4.40.

Here’s how the rest of the Red Sox will be lining up behind Eovaldi, as they’ll be matched up against a familiar foe in Rays veteran right-hander Charlie Morton, who owns a lifetime 4.09 ERA in nine career starts against Boston:

Among the nine hitters in Tuesday’s lineup, Xander Bogaerts has by far seen Morton the best, as he owns a career .385/.407/.615 slash line in 26 career at-bats against the Rays’ starter.

Also worth noting, Andrew Benintendi is batting leadoff and starting in left field, Alex Verdugo is back in the lineup, hitting seventh, and starting in right field, and Mitch Moreland is hitting fifth and starting at first base.

I may be a bit concerned about Verdugo’s back seeing how the Rays play on artificial turf inside a dome, but maybe that’s just me.

Anyway, first pitch Tuesday is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. eastern time on NESN and WEEI. Red Sox looking for win No. 4 in game No. 11.

Even After Tough Loss, Red Sox Stars Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers Remain Optimistic

In what appeared to be a soul-crushing 9-7 loss to the Yankees on Sunday night, the Red Sox might actually have some positives to take away from a rather disappointing weekend in the Bronx.

Despite blowing a late lead to close out the weekend, Boston enjoyed some decent success on the offensive side of the ball, especially from the likes of Christian Vazquez, Rafael Devers, and Xander Bogaerts. The trio combined to go 7-for-13 at the plate with three home runs, six RBI, and 17 total bases between them on Sunday.

It may not have been enough for the Sox to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of their division rivals, but it could be a sign of better things to come.

“We fought back, man,” Bogaerts said via Zoom in regards to his team’s effort-level on Sunday. “This is one of the games we can take a lot of positives out. Haven’t been (many) games like this. It sucks that we lost but it was pretty fun, honestly. Back-and-forth, back-and-forth. … This game was a nice fight from us.”

Already a sixth of the way through this truncated season, the Red Sox are 3-7, good for last place in the American League East, and are getting outscored by more than one run per game.

That being said, Sunday’s loss to the first-place Yankees offered a glimpse of hope for Boston, according to Bogaerts.

“Coming into today, the energy level was different before the game,” the two-time All-Star added. “Me and (Christian) Vazquez and (Rafael) Devers were talking about that. I don’t know why. But it was just different.”

Speaking of Devers, the 23-year-old echoed the same sentiment Bogaerts did in his postgame Zoom call with reporters Sunday night, saying that, “It was fun out there. I came out there today just a bit more motivated. There was an extra fire from all of us, not just myself. We just continue to just play hard and try to get the results we wanted, but obviously we just couldn’t get it today.”

After their first off day of the season on Monday, the Red Sox will open up a two-game series against the Rays at Tropicana Field beginning on Tuesday night. Perhaps some of that optimism shared by Bogaerts and Devers can carry over to the rest of the team during the final leg of this seven-game road trip.

Red Sox Lineup: J.D. Martinez Sits in What Will Be Zack Godley’s First Start of Season

After pushing across just one run in a 5-1 loss at the hands of the Yankees to snap a two-game winning streak on Friday, the Red Sox will look to bounce back against Masahiro Tanaka and the Bronx Bombers on Saturday night.

Opposing Tanaka for the Sox will be veteran right-hander Zack Godley in what will be his first major-league start since last June.

The 30-year-old initially signed a minor-league deal with Boston late last month after getting cut loose from the Tigers and made his 2020 debut this past Monday, working four scoreless innings of relief against the Mets.

That effort earned Godley a spot in the Sox’ starting rotation, as he’ll be taking over for left-hander Josh Osich this time through. He has never pitched inside Yankee Stadium before, and has only pitched against the Yankees once before in his six-year career, which came as a reliever for the Blue Jays last August.

In what will be their first game of August 2020, here’s how the Red Sox will be lining up behind Godley and against Tanaka to begin things on Saturday.

Among the notable things to point out here, a slumping J.D. Martinez will start this one on the bench in favor of Kevin Pillar. Martinez owns a lifetime 1.226 OPS in 23 career at-bats against Tanaka, but seeing how he is 2-for-23 over his last six games, perhaps Sox manager Ron Roenicke felt it was best to give the slugger a day off.

Mitch Moreland is back starting at first and batting fifth after missing the last two games on account of sore legs that were “just barking from being on them a lot.”

Christian Vazquez, Alex Verdugo, and Jackie Bradley Jr. follow the veteran first baseman, while Tzu-Wei Lin makes his first start of the season at second base and bats ninth.

Among these nine hitters, Andrew Benintendi, Rafael Devers, and Xander Bogaerts have seen Tanaka the best, as they are a combined 29-for-87 (.333) off the Yankees right-hander with five home runs and 11 RBI between them.

If the Red Sox want to win their fourth game of the season on Saturday, it will be imperative that they score more than the 3.7 runs per game they have averaged since embarking on this seven-game road trip on Tuesday.

First pitch against the Yankees Saturday is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. eastern time on FOX and WEEI.

Red Sox Lineup: Kevin Pillar Moves to Leadoff Spot for First of Three Against Yankees

After sweeping the first leg of the road trip against the Mets on Wednesday and Thurday, the Red Sox will look to go unbeaten against another New York team in the American League East-leading Yankees over the weekend.

In the first of this three-game set in the Bronx, right-hander Ryan Weber will get the ball first for Boston, while 27-year-old left-hander Jordan Montgomery will do the same for New York.

Weber, 29, has never started a game against the Yankees before in his brief major-league career, but he does own a 2.84 ERA in three career relief appearances against the Bronx Bombers spanning 6 1/3 total innings pitched.

Montgomery, meanwhile, has three starts against the Red Sox under his belt, and he owns a 3.30 ERA in those outings spanning 14 1/3 innings of work.

As for how the Sox will be lining up behind Weber and against Montgomery to start things out on Friday, outfielder Kevin Pillar will get a crack at the leadoff spot in this one.

In what will be his first game as a leadoff hitter with Boston, the 31-year-old right-handed bat owns a lifetime .303/.339/.541 slash line in 118 career plate appearances when leading off against southpaws.

From there, J.D. Martinez is back in the two-hole at designated hitter, Rafael Devers is batting third after starting Thursday’s game on the bench, and Xander Bogaerts is batting cleanup. Pretty standard stuff for Sox manager Ron Roenicke thus far.

The red-hot Christian Vazquez, fresh off a 4-for-8, three-homer series against the Mets, will be starting at catcher and hitting out the No. 5 spot for the fourth time in five days, while Alex Verdugo will once again start against a left-handed pitcher and take Andrew Benintendi’s place in left field.

Rounding things out we have Michael Chavis starting at first in place of Mitch Moreland, Jackie Bradley Jr. in center field, per usual, and the ever-elusive Jose Peraza starting at second and batting out of the nine-hole for the third time in eight games.

Among the nine hitters in Friday’s starting lineup, Vazquez has had the most success against Montgomery, as he is a lifetime .750 hitter (3-for-4 with one home run) when facing the Yankees starter.

First pitch Friday is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN, MLB Network, and WEEI. Red Sox going for their third straight win.

Red Sox to Stay in Same Hotel, Use Six Buses While in New York for Series Against Mets and Yankees

Adding on to Monday’s story about the Red Sox’ upcoming seven-game road trip, the club has put an adequate plan in place for their stay in New York City, according to manager Ron Roenicke.

Upon the completion of their two-game series against the Mets at Fenway Park on Tuesday, the Sox will depart from Logan Airport early Wednesday morning and arrive at Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey at around 1:00 a.m. eastern time if all goes according to plan.

From there, the team will travel by bus from the airport to their hotel, the Lotte New York Palace in Midtown, where they will be spending the next five days for both of their series against the Mets and Yankees going into the weekend.

Per Roenicke, who spoke with reporters via Zoom prior to Tuesday’s contest with the Metropolitans, the Red Sox have “reserved a large ballroom [in their hotel] for meals and training staff.”

In regards to getting around the city, the club will utilize six buses when traveling between their hotel and both New York ballparks — Citi Field and Yankee Stadium — to ensure that proper social distancing protocols are followed through the use of assigned seating.

Despite all that’s gone on around baseball the past 24 hours, with the Phillies and Marlins pausing their seasons and all that, Roenicke still doesn’t seem too worried about traveling amid an ongoing pandemic, saying that “I still don’t have those concerns (about traveling). The more things happen, the more you hear about it, probably the more that it’s on my mind.”

After Tuesday, the Red Sox will not be back in Boston until the morning of August 6. A lot could change between now and then, and Roenicke, a former player himself, is definitely aware of that when keeping today’s players in mind.

If we get to the point where the players really feel at risk,” he said, “I know MLB will step in and do something.” 

Here’s to hoping the league doesn’t have to step in unless it is absolutely necessary.

‘You Do Not Go Into Nightclubs. You Do Not Go Into Bars’; Red Sox Players Will Not Be Allowed to Do Certain Things While on Road Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

After Tuesday night’s game against the Mets, the Red Sox will hit the road for the first time this season. The club’s first road trip of 2020 includes stops in Queens, the Bronx, and Tampa Bay. With all that traveling in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic comes a great deal of responsibility for players and staff alike, especially in Florida, which has emerged as one of the hot spots for coronavirus in recent weeks.

When speaking with reporters prior to Monday’s series opener against New York, Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke detailed a Zoom meeting the team held to inform players what they can and cannot do on the road. Chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom was also involved.

“We’re going on the road. We need to be careful with what we do,” Roenicke said regarding his team’s upcoming travels. “We are talking about different cities and who’s more at risk doing things in certain areas. New York has done a good job. You may be okay walking to a place there more than you would be in Florida.”

Earlier Monday, it was revealed that at least 14 Miami Marlins players and coaches tested positive for COVID-19, which led the club to cancelling their home opener against the Orioles while they remain in self-isolation in Philadelphia, where they spent the weekend playing the Phillies.

According to the Center for Disease Control’s COVID Data Tracker, there have been nearly 419,000 total coronavirus cases in the state of Florida thus far, which is second-most in the Untied States behind only California.

With all that information in mind, playing baseball games in Florida, whether it be in Miami or Tampa Bay, will obviously raise concerns among MLB players and staff while cases continue to rise.

As previously mentioned, the Red Sox will be arriving in Florida next week for a brief-two-game set against the Rays. With an off day on the Monday before that series begins, it will be imperative that the Sox follow the proper virus-related protocols. Roenicke said as much when speaking with reporters earlier.

“You do not go into nightclubs. You do not go into bars,” he stated when recounting what was told to the players in Monday’s Zoom meeting. “To be a hermit and stay in your room for the whole time and just go to the ballpark and stay home, it’s hard to tell a player they have to do it.”

With all the virus-related issues that have sprung up in the past 24 hours, more players may be leaning towards opting out of the remainder of the 2020 season. Roenicke, however, is hopeful that if the Red Sox can make players feel more comfortable, then they will not have to worry about that possibility.

“I don’t want to make them fearful of going on the road and playing. We’ve done a good job so far,” said the Sox skipper. “The more we keep them safe, the more comfortable they feel. We can continue on with this.”

Again, the Red Sox will be departing Boston for New York on Tuesday night. Hopefully we’ll still have a Major League Baseball season to talk about by then.