Xander Bogaerts Returns To Boston Red Sox’s Lineup Vs. Tampa Bay Rays

Xander BogaertsShortstop Xander Bogaerts will return to the Boston Red Sox’s starting lineup Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park.

Bogaerts and third baseman Will Middlebrooks were late scratches before Tuesday’s series opener against the Rays. Bogaerts, who left Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards, has been dealing with neck stiffness. Middlebrooks has been battling a nagging right hand issue.

Red Sox manager John Farrell said before Wednesday’s game that Bogaerts’ status has improved. Middlebrooks, meanwhile, remains sidelined, though the Red Sox aren’t ready to shut down the 26-year-old. Farrell said the club remains hopeful Middlebrooks will return at some point over the final four games.

David Ortiz is out of Boston’s starting lineup Wednesday with a sore left wrist. The issue cropped up during Tuesday’s loss. Ortiz is considered day-to-day.

Yoenis Cespedes, who had an eventful night in left field Tuesday, will serve as the designated hitter Wednesday in Ortiz’s absence. The Red Sox’s outfield will consist of Bryce Brentz (left field), Rusney Castillo (center field) and Daniel Nava (right field). This will mark Brentz’s first major league start in left field at Fenway.

Allen Craig (first base) and Garin Cecchini (third base) will man the corner infield positions.

Wednesday’s complete lineups are below.

Boston Red Sox (68-89)
Mookie Betts, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Daniel Nava, RF
Yoenis Cespedes, DH
Allen Craig, 1B
Garin Cecchini, 3B
Rusney Castillo, CF
Bryce Brentz, LF
Christian Vazquez, C

Anthony Ranaudo, RHP (3-3, 5.29 ERA)

Tampa Bay Rays (76-81)
Ben Zobrist, DH
Kevin Kiermaier, CF
Evan Longoria, 3B
Wil Myers, RF
Nick Franklin, 2B
Logan Forsythe, SS
Brandon Guyer, LF
Sean Rodriguez, 1B
Curt Casali, C

Jake Odorizzi, RHP (11-12, 3.98 ERA)

Photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images

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