The Boston Red Sox will put some distance between themselves and the Tampa Bay Rays if they sustain their success against their rivals.
Boston and Tampa will open their three-game set Tuesday night at Tropicana Field with first place in the American League East Division on the line. The first-place Sox lead the second-place Rays by a half game, so the stakes couldn’t be any clearer to competitors, viewers or anyone else.
Danny Santana will play center field and bat leadoff for Boston. He didn’t play in Sunday’s loss to the Kansas City Royals, and a couple days off might have done him some good. Alex Verdugo bats second and plays left field, and right fielder Hunter Renfroe rounds out the outfield and bats sixth.
Shortstop Xander Bogaerts bats fourth, and third baseman Rafael Devers follows him in the fifth spot. Second baseman Kiké Hernández and first baseman Bobby Dalbec bat eighth and ninth, respectively.
J.D. Martinez is the designated hitter and bats third.
Christian Vázquez returns to the lineup after two days off. He’ll bat seventh and catch for starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez, who is winless in his last seven starts.
Rays pitcher Andrew Kittredge will start for Tampa as the opener.
NESN will air Red Sox-Rays in full, with pregame coverage starting at 6 p.m. ET. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m., and postgame coverage immediately will follow the final out. If you’re not near a TV, you can live stream full coverage of the game online at Watch NESN Live.
Here are the lineups for Tuesday’s Red Sox-Rays game.
RED SOX (43-29)
Danny Santana, CF
Alex Verdugo, LF
J.D. Martinez, DH
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Rafael Devers, 3B
Hunter Renfroe, RF
Christian Vázquez, C
Kiké Hernández, 2B
Bobby Dalbec, 1B
Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP (5-4, 6.21 ERA)
Yandy Diaz, 1B
Wander Franco, 3B
Austin Meadows, DH
Randy Arozarena, LF
Manuel Margot, RF
Francisco Mejia, C
Brandon Lowe, 2B
Taylor Walls, SS
Kevin Kiermaier, CF
Andrew Kittredge, RHP (5-1, 1.34 ERA)