It’s been 315 days since Dustin Pedroia last played in a major league game, but the Red Sox second baseman will return to the starting lineup Tuesday when Boston hosts the Toronto Blue Jays in its 2019 home opener at Fenway Park.
Pedroia will man his usual position and bat seventh for the Red Sox, who will receive their 2018 World Series rings as part of the Opening Day festivities. Boston activated Pedroia from the 10-day injured list before Tuesday’s game and optioned Tzu-Wei Lin to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Pedroia, who has been battling a knee injury, was limited to just three games last season. The Red Sox played it safe this spring, ultimately placing the 35-year-old on the IL to start the 2019 campaign. Pedroia’s return Tuesday will mark his first big league game since May 29, 2018.
The rest of the Red Sox’s lineup for the home opener is fairly straightforward, with Christian Vazquez drawing the start behind the plate as Chris Sale takes the mound. It’s been an interesting season for Sale and the Red Sox to this point, but the pageantry of Opening Day at Fenway Park — especially on the heels of a World Series season — should get Boston’s adrenaline pumping.
The Red Sox, who began the season with an 11-game road trip, return home with a 3-8 record. They ended their West Coast swing on a high note Sunday with a 1-0 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
NESN’s pregame coverage begins at noon ET. The World Series ring ceremony is scheduled to kick off at 1 p.m., with the game’s first pitch scheduled for 2:05 p.m.
Here are the complete lineups for Tuesday’s Red Sox vs. Blue Jays game.
RED SOX (3-8)
Andrew Benintendi, LF
Mookie Betts, RF
Mitch Moreland, 1B
J.D. Martinez, DH
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Rafael Devers, 3B
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Christian Vazquez, C
Chris Sale, LHP (0-2, 8.00 ERA)
BLUE JAYS (3-8)
Freddy Galvis, SS
Teoscar Hernandez, LF
Brandon Drury, 3B
Randal Grichuk, CF
Danny Jansen, C
Lourdes Gurriel Jr., DH
Richard Urena, 2B
Alen Hanson, 1B
Billy McKinney, RF
Matt Shoemaker, RHP (2-0, 0.00 ERA)
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images