BOSTON — James Shields basically has thrown batting practice since returning to the American League earlier this month.
In three starts since being traded from the San Diego Padres to the Chicago White Sox, Shields has pitched a total of 8 2/3 innings, allowed 22 runs, walked nine batters and served up five home runs. His ERA in those three outings? A cool 21.81.
The Boston Red Sox will look to prolong these struggles Thursday afternoon as they try to salvage the finale of a four-game series with the White Sox at Fenway Park.
Boston, which lost to Chicago by two runs in each of the series’ first three games, begin Thursday’s tilt without third baseman Travis Shaw, who left Wednesday’s game with a right shin contusion initially suffered Tuesday night. Marco Hernandez will start at third and bat ninth against Shields.
Shaw will be available to pinch-hit, Red Sox manager John Farrell said in his pregame news conference.
Elsewhere in the Red Sox’s lineup, first baseman Hanley Ramirez will bat seventh for a second consecutive game. Ramirez homered in Wednesday’s 8-6 loss but is still just 1-for-13 with seven strikeouts in the series.
Here are the starting lineups for both teams:
RED SOX (39-32)
Mookie Betts, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Chris Young, LF
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Hanley Ramirez, 1B
Christian Vazquez, C
Marco Hernandez, 3B
Rick Porcello, RHP (8-2, 3.76 ERA)
WHITE SOX (36-36)
Tim Anderson, SS
Adam Eaton, RF
Jose Abreu, 1B
Melky Cabrera, LF
Todd Frazier, 3B
Brett Lawrie, 2B
Alex Avila, C
Avisail Garcia, DH
J.B. Shuck, CF
James Shields, RHP (0-2, 21.81 ERA)
Thumbnail photo via Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Images