Red Sox Vs. Cardinals Lineups: Opener Offers World Series Flashbacks

Michael Wacha will face former St. Louis teammate Adam Wainwright

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The Boston Red Sox have won four World Series titles since 2004, and two of those championships required defeating the St. Louis Cardinals in the Fall Classic.

Why do we mention this? Well, the teams will lock horns for three games this weekend at Fenway Park, beginning with Friday night’s series opener that’ll offer a few flashbacks.

First, Albert Pujols is back wearing a Cardinals uniform. The slugger spent 12 seasons with St. Louis to begin his major league career, a wildly successful run that included two World Series titles for Pujols but also a loss to Boston on baseball’s biggest stage.

The Red Sox swept Pujols and the Cardinals in 2004, ending Boston’s 86-year championship drought. Pujols later played 10 seasons with the Los Angeles Angels and had a brief stint with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2021 before re-signing with St. Louis this past offseason.

Then, there’s Yadier Molina. The Cardinals placed the veteran catcher on the injured list with right knee inflammation Friday, so he won’t be available this weekend. But seeing his name pop up in headlines before facing the Red Sox definitely evokes late-October memories. Molina has spent the last 19 years with St. Louis, playing against Boston in the 2004 and 2013 World Series.

Speaking of which, Adam Wainwright, who’s been with the Cardinals since 2005, will start for St. Louis in Friday’s series opener. And he’ll be opposed by former Cardinals teammate Michael Wacha, who, like Wainwright, made two starts for St. Louis against Boston in the 2013 World Series.

Wacha, who also pitched for the New York Mets and Tampa Bay Rays before landing with the Red Sox, has been excellent in his first season with Boston, going 4-1 with a 2.33 ERA in 10 starts. He struggled a bit his last time out in Seattle but tossed a complete-game shutout in his most recent outing before that.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora again will turn to Jarren Duran in the leadoff spot as Boston looks to provide Wacha and company with the necessary run support. Duran will play center field, with Alex Verdugo and Jackie Bradley Jr. starting in left field and right field, respectively.

Other Red Sox lineup nuggets: Franchy Cordero will play first base and bat seventh. Christian Vázquez will catch and bat eighth.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET, and pregame coverage on NESN begins with “Red Sox Friday Night Fenway LIVE” at 5 p.m. ET.

NESN 360 cta

Here are the full lineups for Friday night’s Red Sox vs. Cardinals matchup:

BOSTON RED SOX (34-30)
Jarren Duran, CF
Rafael Devers, 3B
J.D. Martinez, DH
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Alex Verdugo, LF
Trevor Story, 2B
Franchy Cordero, 1B
Christian Vázquez, C
Jackie Bradley Jr., RF

Michael Wacha, RHP (4-1, 2.33 ERA)

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (37-28)
Tommy Edman, SS
Brendan Donovan, 2B
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
Nolan Arenado, 3B
Nolan Gorman, DH
Tyler O’Neill, LF
Dylan Carlson, RF
Harrison Bader, CF
Andrew Knizner, C

Adam Wainwright, RHP (5-4, 2.84 ERA)

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