A.J. Pierzynski In Lineup Versus Former Team As Red Sox Visit Rangers

A.J. PierzynskiThe Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers will begin their three-game series at Globe Life Park in Arlington with a very intriguing pitching matchup.

Yu Darvish and Clay Buchholz will square off Friday in Texas as the Red Sox look for their first three-game winning streak of 2014. The Sox enter the series on the heels of back-to-back wins over the Cincinnati Reds at Fenway Park. Tuesday’s win included Grady Sizemore’s first walk-off hit since 2006, and Wednesday’s victory featured a two-run, eighth-inning rally that culminated with Will Middlebrooks’ game-winning RBI single off J.J. Hoover.

Red Sox manager John Farrell isn’t making any major lineup changes against Darvish. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts will return to the lineup two days after sitting out Wednesday’s series finale against the Reds. He’ll bat sixth behind Sizemore, who is playing left field with the right-hander on the mound.

The Red Sox have had some success against Darvish. The 27-year-old has made two starts against the Red Sox in the past, and his 5.93 ERA against Boston is his highest against any team in Major League Baseball.

Friday’s contest marks A.J. Pierzynski’s first game against the Rangers since spending the 2013 season with Texas. The veteran catcher spent just one year with the Rangers, hitting .272 with 17 homers and 70 RBIs in 134 regular-season games.

Friday’s complete lineups are below.

Boston Red Sox (17-17)
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Shane Victorino, RF
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Grady Sizemore, LF
Xander Bogaerts, SS
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Will Middlebrooks 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF

Clay Buchholz, RHP (2-2, 5.63)

Texas Rangers (18-17)
Shin-Soo Choo LF
Elvis Andrus, SS
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Prince Fielder, 1B
Alex Rios, RF
Mitch Moreland, DH
J.P. Arencibia, C
Leonys Martin, CF
Rougned Odor, 2B

Yu Darvish, RHP (2-1, 2.87)

Photo via Twitter/@BGlobeSports

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