The Boston Red Sox don’t have much to play for as the 2014 season winds down, but the same can’t be said of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Pittsburgh is in the thick of the National League playoff hunt, sitting in second place in the Central and owning the second wild card spot by 1.5 games with a 79-70 record as of Tuesday.
The Red Sox kick off a three-game set Tuesday night at PNC Park hoping to play the role of spoilers, but they’ll have to do so without their best hitter. David Ortiz, who left Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Royals because of a family emergency, is not in Boston’s lineup again Tuesday, as the team will be without a designated hitter due to interleague play rules.
The Red Sox will send right-hander Anthony Ranaudo to the mound, and he hopes to get back in the win column after losing his previous two starts.
As for the linuep, all eyes will be on the young guns, as Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts hope to continue their hot streaks. Newly acquired outfielder Rusney Castillo also has made headlines, as manager John Farrell confirmed Tuesday that the 27-year-old Cuban will make his MLB debut in center field Wednesday night.
Right-hander Charlie Morton will make his first start for the Pirates following a month-long hiatus because of a sports hernia. The Pirates also announced a late change to their lineup, scratching shortstop Jody Mercer because of back soreness and replacing him with Clint Barmes.