Xander Bogaerts Batting Third, Hanley Ramirez Sits In Red Sox-Blue Jays Opener

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Xander Bogaerts has been one of the few bright spots lately for the Boston Red Sox, and he’ll get rewarded for it Friday night.

The Red Sox shortstop will hit third in the lineup, as Boston opens a three-game weekend series at Fenway Park versus the Toronto Blue Jays.

Bogaerts has been on a bit of a tear over the last two weeks. He’s hitting .425 (17-for-40) in his last 11 games, raising his batting average 32 points during that time. He also boasts pretty good numbers against Toronto starting pitcher Drew Hutchinson, collecting four hits in eight at-bats.

In addition to his recent success, Bogaerts’ move up in the lineup was facilitated by left fielder Hanley Ramirez getting the night off.

The Red Sox will hand the ball to Joe Kelly, as he looks to put an end to Boston’s three-game losing streak. Kelly was good his last time out, limiting Oakland to one run over six innings, and the right-hander has allowed just two earned runs over his last two starts (11 innings).

RED SOX (27-34)
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Brock Holt, LF
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Pablo Sandoval, 3B
Mookie Betts, CF
Blake Swihart, C
Rusney Castillo, RF

Joe Kelly, RHP (2-4, 5.40 ERA)

BLUE JAYS (31-30)
Jose Reyes, SS
Josh Donaldson, 3B
Jose Bautista, RF
Edwin Encarnacion, DH
Chris Colabello, LF
Russell Martin, C
Justin Smoak, 1B
Kevin Pillar, CF
Ryan Goins, 2B

Drew Hutchison, RHP (5-1, 4.91 ERA)

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images

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