Xander Bogaerts Returns To Red Sox Lineup On Friday Night Vs. Indians

Xander BogaertsXander Bogaerts will be back in the Boston Red Sox lineup on Friday night, assuming, of course, Mother Nature stays out of the way.

Steady rain fell all day Friday in Boston, and the forecast calls for more showers as the night progresses, but the Sox and Cleveland Indians are supposed to face off in the second of a four-game set at Fenway Park. If they do, Bogaerts will be back in the lineup after getting the night off in the series opener on Thursday.

Red Sox manager John Farrell decided to give the infielder a breather as Bogaerts is mired in one of the worst slumps of his young career. Bogaerts is 0-for-16 in his last four games, and he’s seen his batting average drop 15 points in the process. Bogaerts also has five strikeouts over that stretch.

He’ll look to break out against Justin Masterson on Friday night. The big right-hander shut down the Red Sox in Cleveland on June 2. The former Sox hurler struck out 10 in seven innings of work against Boston in a 3-2 Tribe win.

Masterson will be looking to slow down the red-hot Daniel Nava, who has been very good since being recalled from Pawtucket. Nava is 8-for-17 in his last five games after a three-hit performance in Boston’s win on Thursday. Nava’s success against Cleveland is nothing new, as the outfielder is now hitting .442 (19-for-43) for his career. That’s the best batting average against the Tribe among all active players with at least 30 plate appearances.

John Lackey will make the start on the mound for Cleveland.

Red Sox (30-36)
Brock Holt, LF
Xander Bogaerts, 3B
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Daniel Nava, RF
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Jonathan Herrera, SS
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF

John Lackey, SP

Indians (33-34)
Michael Bourn, CF
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
Michael Brantley, LF
Jason Kipnis, 2B
Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B
David Murphy, RF
Yan Gomes, C
Carlos Santana, 1B
Ryan Raburn, RF

Justin Masteron, SP

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