The Boston Red Sox’s bats are heating up again, and the New York Yankees might have trouble preparing for their rivals’ new look.
Boston is coming off a two-game sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays, during which 18 of the Sox’s 23 hits went for extra bases (11 home runs and seven doubles). The Red Sox welcome the Yankees to Fenway Park on Thursday night for the opener of a four-game series.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora restores Alex Verdugo to the lineup for Thursday’s tilt. Verdugo started Wednesday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays game on the bench but entered in the seventh inning as a replacement for Danny Santana, who suffered a groin injury. A matchup against the Yankees represents a chance for the struggling Verdugo to break out in a high-stakes setting. He’ll play left field and bat seventh.
Verdugo’s return is one of a host of changes Cora makes to the batting order for Thursday’s game. Third baseman Rafael Devers moves up to second in the Red Sox’s lineup after hitting fourth the last two games and fifth prior to that. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts returns to his customary No. 3 spot in the order. J.D. Martinez moves up to fourth from fifth, where he had been hitting recently.
Joining Verdugo in the outfield are center fielder Kiké Hernández, who bats leadoff, and Hunter Renfroe, who moves from the sixth to fifth spot.
Catcher Christian Vázquez also climbs one spot in the order to sixth, and Verdugo follows him. First baseman Bobby Dalbec and second baseman Michael Chavis bat eighth and ninth, respectively.
Tanner Houck recorded the save July 16 in Boston’s 4-0 win over New York. He’ll start on the mound Thursday looking to record his first win of the season.
The Yankees counter with lefty Jordan Montgomery, who lost both his starts against the Red Sox this season.
NESN will air full coverage of Red Sox-Yankees. Pregame coverage starts at 6 p.m. ET. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET, and postgame coverage immediately will follow the final out.
Remember, if you’re not near a TV, you can live stream full coverage of the game online at Watch NESN Live.
Here are the full lineups for Thursday’s Red Sox-Yankees game.
RED SOX (58-38)
Kiké Hernández, CF
Rafael Devers, 3B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
J.D. Martinez, DH
Hunter Renfroe, RF
Christian Vázquez, C
Alex Verdugo, LF
Bobby Dalbec, 1B
Michael Chavis, 2B
Tanner Houck, RHP (0-2, 3.38 ERA)
DJ LeMahieu, 1B
Brett Gardner, LF
Giancarlo Stanton, DH
Rougned Odor, 2B
Gleyber Torres, SS
Rob Brantly, C
Greg Allen, RF
Estevan Florial, CF
Tyler Wade, 3B
Jordan Montgomery, LHP (3-5, 4.18 ERA)