Red Sox Vs. Orioles Lineups: Christian Vázquez, Alex Verdugo Return For Series Opener

The Red Sox seek to extend their winning streak to three games

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The Boston Red Sox almost are fully stocked again as they begin their final homestand of the regular season against the Baltimore Orioles.

Alex Verdugo and Christian Vázquez return to the Red Sox starting lineup for Friday’s series opener at Fenway Park. Both came off the bench Wednesday to help the Red Sox beat the Seattle Mariners in extra innings and they’ll be keen to help Boston extend its winning streak to three games and strengthen its grip on one of the American League’s wild-card spots.

The top five of Boston’s batting order remains in place for the third consecutive game. Center fielder Kiké Hernández leads off, followed by right fielder Hunter Renfroe, shortstop Xander Bogaerts, third baseman Rafael Devers and designated hitter J.D. Martinez.

The changes come in the latter part of the Red Sox lineup, as first baseman Bobby Dalbec moves up from seventh to sixth. Vázquez starts at catcher for the first time in three days and bats seventh. Verdugo, the left fielder, replaces Kyle Schwarber and bats eighth, with second baseman José Iglesias batting ninth.

Having returned from a stint on the COVID-19 injured list, Chris Sale is Boston’s starting pitcher. The ace headlines a four-man rotation Alex Cora says the Red Sox will use in the coming days.

Righty Keegan Akin starts on the mound for the Orioles.

NESN will air Red Sox-Orioles in full, with pregame coverage starting at 5:30 p.m. ET. First pitch from Fenway Park 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 Friday’s Red Sox-Orioles game.

BOSTON RED SOX (83-65)
Kiké Hernández, CF
Hunter Renfroe, RF
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Rafael Devers, 3B
J.D. Martinez, DH
Bobby Dalbec, 1B
Christian Vázquez, C
Alex Verdugo, LF
José Iglesias, 2B

Chris Sale, LHP (3-0 2.52 ERA)

BALTIMORE ORIOLES (47-99)
Cedric Mullins, CF
Ryan Mountcastle, 1B
Trey Mancini, DH
Austin Hays, RF
Ramon Urias, 2B
Pedro Severino, C
Ryan McKenna, LF
Pat Valaika, SS
Kelvin Gutierrez, 3B

Keegan Akin, LHP (2-9 6.83 ERA)

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