Tuesday night wasn’t exactly the Major League debut Andrew Benintendi probably envisioned.
The Boston Red Sox’s star outfield prospect officially joined the 25-man roster before Tuesday night’s contest against the Seattle Mariners, but Sox manager John Farrell previously told reporters that the 22-year-old would simply observe and take everything in on his first night in the bigs. Even if a pinch-hitting appearance presented itself, the skipper likely would look elsewhere for a night, just to let the young outfielder get his feet under him.
Those plans, along with the Red Sox’s good fortunes, went up in flames just hours later.
Benintendi pinch hit for Bryce Brentz in the seventh inning, grounding out softly to second base. Boston blew a four-run lead in the eighth, the only ball that traveled in Benintendi’s direction in the field soared over his head for a home run during a five-run Seattle rally, and the kid struck out on three straight pitches — watching two of them — to end the ballgame, a 5-4 Red Sox loss.
Benintendi, however, gets a professional lesson in how to have a short memory Wednesday: He’s starting in left field and batting ninth.
He’ll be behind Boston’s best pitcher, Rick Porcello, who looks to tie a career high with his 15th win of the season. The right-hander earned a win in his six consecutive starts on the strength of a 2.57 ERA in July.
Other lineup changes include the absence of Hanley Ramirez, who injured his left wrist after the conclusion of Tuesday’s loss. Travis Shaw returns to the lineup to play first, while Aaron Hill remains at third for the fifth straight game.
Dustin Pedroia also gets a night off to rest, so Brock Holt returns to the lineup and will play second base.
Here are the lineups Porcello will face and have supporting him Wednesday at Safeco Field in Seattle.
RED SOX (58-47)
Mookie Betts, RF
Brock Holt, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Aaron Hill, 3B
Travis Shaw, 1B
Sandy Leon, C
Andrew Benintendi, LF
Rick Porcello, RHP (14-2, 3.47 ERA)
Norichika Aoki, LF
Seth Smith, RF
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nelson Cruz, DH
Kyle Seager, 3B
Adam Lind, 1B
Leonys Martin, CF
Mike Zanino, C
Luis Sardinas, SS
Hisashi Iawkuma, RHP (11-6, 3.96 ERA)
Thumbnail photo via Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports Images