Xander Bogaerts Returns To Red Sox Lineup Against Dallas Keuchel, Astros

Xander BogaertsXander Bogaerts had the night off Thursday against the Houston Astros, but the Boston Red Sox shortstop is back in the lineup for Friday’s game as Boston looks to extend its winning streak to five for the first time in a month.

Bogaerts will hit sixth as the Sox play the second of a four-game series with the Astros.

The 21-year-old has had an up-and-down season, and he’s looking to end the season on a high note. He’s hitting just .140 with 12 strikeouts in 11 games this month, but he does have three hits in his last two games and drove in a run on Tuesday against the Cincinnati Reds.

Bogaerts will be getting his first look at Houston starter Dallas Keuchel. The left-hander will be making just his second career appearance against the Red Sox, and it can’t go much worse than the first. Keuchel’s only appearance against the Sox was a relief appearance in which he gave up four runs on three hits in just 2/3 of an inning.

Facing Boston may be even more difficult this time around for Keuchel who has to deal with Yoenis Cespedes. The former Oakland Athletics outfielder is 5-for-10 in his career against Keuchel, all of those at-bats coming when Cespedes was in Oakland.

The Red Sox will have right-hander Clay Buchholz on the mound Friday. Buchholz had his finest start of the season against Houston back on July 13. He tossed a complete-game, three-hit shutout and struck out a season-high 12 batters. Buchholz is 2-0 in his career against Houston with a 1.08 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 16 2/3 innings.

Here’s the Red Sox lineup for Friday night.

Boston Red Sox (55-65)
Brock Holt, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Yoenis Cespedes, LF
Mike Napoli, 1B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Christian Vazquez, C

Clay Buchholz, RHP (5-7, 5.99 ERA)

Houston Astros (50-72)
Robbie Grossman, LF
Jose Altuve, 2B
Chris Carter, DH
Dexter Fowler, CF
Jason Castro, C
Jon Singleton, 1B
Matt Dominguez, 3B
Jake Marisnik, RF
Marwin Gonzalez, SS

Dallas Keuchel, LHP (10-8, 3.07 ERA)

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