The Boston Red Sox are staying the course amid disruption in an effort to overcome the Tampa Bay Rays.
The lineup Red Sox manager Alex Cora deploys Monday for the opening matchup of their four-game series against the Rays is similar to the one he fielded the previous night in the loss to the Cleveland Indians. The most notable changes come toward the end of Boston’s batting order, with catcher Christian Vázquez returning from an off day and second baseman Yairo Muñoz re-entering the starting lineup.
Kyle Schwarber bats leadoff for the second consecutive game in the absence of Kiké Hernández, who tested positive for COVID-19 last week. However, Schwarber is the designated hitter, swapping positions with J.D. Martinez, who plays left field.
Elsewhere, red-hot first baseman Bobby Dalbec moves up from seventh to sixth in Boston’s batting order. Vázquez follows him as the No. 7 batter, with center fielder Jarren Duran and Muñoz batting eighth and ninth, respectively.
Pitcher Nick Pivetta starts for the Red Sox. He’s keen to reverse his recent fortunes, in which he has allowed eight runs in 5 2/3 innings in his last two starts.
Tampa counters with right-handed pitcher Luis Patiño.
The first-place Rays lead the third-place Red Sox by eight games in the American League East standings. Boston is 1-5 against the Rays at Tropicana Field in 2021 and must rebound on rival turf in order to preserve its fading hopes of winning the division.
NESN will air Red Sox-Rays in full, with pregame coverage starting at 6 p.m. ET. First pitch from Tropicana Field is scheduled for 7:10 p.m., and postgame coverage immediately will follow the final out. On the go? You can stream full coverage of the game online at Watch NESN Live.
Here are the full lineups for Monday’s Red Sox-Rays game.
BOSTON RED SOX (75-57)
Kyle Schwarber, DH
Rafael Devers, 3B
J.D. Martinez, LF
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Alex Verdugo, RF
Bobby Dalbec, 1B
Christian Vázquez, C
Jarren Duran, CF
Yairo Muñoz, 2B
Nick Pivetta, RHP (9-6 4.57 ERA)
TAMPA BAY RAYS (82-48)
Brandon Lowe, 2B
Nelson Cruz, DH
Wander Franco, SS
Austin Meadows, LF
Yandy Diaz, 1B
Joey Wendle, 3B
Manuel Margot, RF
Kevin Kiermaier, CF
Mike Zunino, C
Luis Patiño, RHP (3-3 4.53 ERA)