The Boston Red Sox’s weekend trip to the Sunshine State won’t necessarily be a relaxing one.
After dropping Thursday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays 13-1, the Red Sox are headed into a three-game series against the Rays with just a 1 1/2-game lead over Tampa Bay for first place in the American League East.
The Red Sox on Friday will be without Rafael Devers, who will miss his second consecutive game after exiting Thursday’s doubleheader with a hamstring injury. Alex Cora had said Devers was due for a scheduled rest day anyway.
In Devers’ place, Jonathan Araúz will return to the big leagues to play third base and bat ninth. His recall was announced by the team within an hour of the start of the series opener. The 22-year-old, who is a switch-hitter, appeared in four games in mid-May and fared decently, going 2-for-8 with a double and an RBI in that span. Through 55 games for Triple-A Worcester, Araúz is hitting .224 with four doubles, a triple, six home runs and 27 RBI. Most of his starts have come at second base.
Bobby Dalbec, who started at third base in Devers’ absence Thursday, will return to first base, batting seventh. Jarren Duran, who catapulted from the bottom of the order to second between Wednesday and Thursday, is back toward the bottom of the order. He’ll hit eighth and man center field.
For the third game in a row, Kiké Hernández will play second base and lead things off in the lineup.
NESN will air full coverage of Red Sox-Rays. Pregame coverage will begin at 6 p.m. ET and first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Postgame coverage immediately will follow the final out. If you’re on the go, live stream full coverage of the game online at Watch NESN Live.
Here are the starting lineups for Friday’s Red Sox vs. Rays game.
RED SOX (63-41)
Kiké Hernández, 2B
Alex Verdugo, LF
Xander Bogaerts, SS
J.D. Martinez, DH
Hunter Renfroe, RF
Christian Vásquez, C
Bobby Dalbec, 1B
Jarren Duran, CF
Jonathan Araúz, 3B
Martín Pérez, LHP (7-6, 4.18 ERA)
Randy Arozarena, RF
Nelson Cruz, DH
Austin Meadows, LF
Yandy Díaz, 3B
Wander Franco, SS
Brandon Lowe, 2B
Manuel Margot, CF
Mike Zunino, C
Ji-Man Choi, 1B
Josh Fleming, LHP (7-5, 4.07 ERA)