It’ll be a tale of two seasons this weekend when the Cincinnati Reds take on the Boston Red Sox at Great American Ball Park.
After clinching a playoff berth Wednesday against the Baltimore Orioles, the Red Sox had to put the rest of the champagne on ice as they continue to try and lock up the American League East division crown. Boston leads the rival New York Yankees by three games with 10 to play, and the Sox can bolster their cause with a strong showing in Cincinnati against the lowly Reds.
The National League Central cellar dwellers, on the other hand, are just looking to end their season on a high note before they go into an offseason that will focus on rebuilding.
The Reds will send rookie right-hander Sal Romano to the hill for the series opener against Boston. The righty has had an up-and-down rookie season, as he’s tallied a 5-6 record with a 4.07 ERA in 14 starts.
Boston will counter with Rick Porcello, who has endured a rough 2017 campaign after taking home the AL Cy Young Award a season ago. Porcello has taken a Major League Baseball-leading 17 losses, and he could be relegated to the bullpen for the Red Sox’s first playoff series.
The Red Sox’s lineup will be missing a familiar face Friday, as Hanley Ramirez will start the game on the bench and Mitch Moreland will bat fifth and play first base.
Xander Bogaerts will lead off and play shortstop, while Dustin Pedroia will hit in the No. 2 hole and man his usual second base.
Here are the complete lineups for Friday’s Red Sox vs. Reds game.
RED SOX (88-64)
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Andrew Benintendi, LF
Mookie Betts, RF
Mitch Moreland, 1B
Christian Vazquez, C
Rafael Devers, 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Rick Porcello, RHP (10-17, 4.46 ERA)
Billy Hamilton, CF
Zack Cozart, SS
Joey Votto, 1B
Scooter Gennett, 2B
Eugenio Suarez, 3B
Scott Schebler, RF
Adam Duvall, LF
Tucker Barnhart, C
Sal Romano, RHP (5-6, 4.07 ERA)
Thumbnail photo via Patrick McDermott/USA TODAY Sports Images
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