The Boston Red Sox are not just going to re-roll the dice after one of the worst losses in franchise history.
While the lineup produced five runs and the issues on Friday clearly were a result of horrendous defense and lackluster pitching, manager Alex Cora is rolling out a never-before-seen lineup in his team’s rematch with the Toronto Blue Jays.
The lineup will look to aid rookie Kutter Crawford in his fifth start and 14th appearance for Boston. He’ll oppose one of the best pitchers in baseball, Alek Manoah. The Blue Jays ace is a legitimate American League Cy Young contender and boasts strong numbers against the Red Sox. In two matchups, he is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA, nine hits allowed, 13 strikeouts and a pair of walks in 14 innings.
Manoah will face a completely reconstructed and hampered lineup on Saturday afternoon. Both Rafael Devers and J.D. Martinez are out of the lineup, with Jeter Downs playing third base and Franchy Cordero sliding into the designated hitter role. In the shake-up, recently called up Yolmer Sánchez will play second base, a position that he has previously won a Gold Glove playing.
Christian Vázquez will move up to the No. 2 spot in the order after his multi-homer game while getting back behind the dish after playing first base Friday. Alex Verdugo will man the No. 3 spot in the order in the absence of Martinez while Xander Bogaerts holds his spot as the cleanup hitter. Bobby Dalbec will make his first start since the break at first base, batting sixth.
After a rough night, Jarren Duran will remain in center field. He currently has minus-seven defensive runs saved, the third-worst mark in Major League Baseball at the position in only 186 innings. He’s on pace to be one of the worst fielders in the league by the end of the season, should he remain in the lineup.
For the Blue Jays, George Springer will return to action in the leadoff spot after a night off.
First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. ET, and NESN will have a full hour of pregame coverage beginning at 3 p.m.
The full lineups for Friday night’s Red Sox vs. Blue Jays game are below.
BOSTON RED SOX (48-46)
Jarren Duran, CF
Christian Vázquez, C
Alex Verdugo, LF
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Franchy Cordero, DH
Bobby Dalbec, 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr., RF
Yolmer Sánchez, 2B
Jeter Downs, 3B
Kutter Crawford, RHP (2-2, 4.50 ERA)
Toronto Blue Jays (52-41)
George Springer, CF
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., DH
Alejandro Kirk, C
Bo Bichette, SS
Teoscar Hernandez, RF
Lourdes Gurriel., LF
Matt Chapman, 3B
Santaigo Espinal, 2B
Cavan Biggio, 1B
Alek Manoah, RHP (10-4, 2.28 ERA)