Red Sox Vs. Rays Lineups: David Ortiz Cleans Up Against Jeremy Hellickson

The Red Sox will return Dustin Pedroia to the 2-hole for Saturday night's matchup against Jeremy Hellickson and the Rays, moving David Ortiz to the cleanup role as the team continues to try and work around the absence of Kevin Youkilis.

While the loss of Youkilis' bat has been a major hit to the team, contributions from Marco Scutaro and Josh Reddick have helped to mitigate the damage. Reddick, who extended his hitting streak to six games on Friday with a 2-for-3 performance, has hit .423/.444/.692 since the beginning of August. He can't touch Scutaro's contributions, however, as the shortstop has picked up 12 hits in his last 20 at bats, and carries a 1.251 OPS on the month into the matchup against Jeremy Hellickson.

Unfortunately, for all their contributions, the guys expected to be major offensive contributors have gone relatively quiet, holding Boston to just two runs in their last outing against Wade Davis. The lineup will have to do a better collective job if they want to score off the rather more impressive Jeremy Hellickson.

Boston Red Sox (85-59)

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
  4. David Ortiz, DH
  5. Josh Reddick, RF
  6. Carl Crawford, LF
  7. Jed Lowrie, 3B
  8. Marco Scutaro, SS
  9. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C

The Rays will utilize a fairly typical lineup against Kyle Weiland, with the only real variations coming in the bottom of the order.

Tampa Bay Rays (79-64)

  1. Desmond Jennings, LF
  2. B.J. Upton, CF
  3. Evan Longoria, 3B
  4. Ben Zobrist, 2B
  5. Johnny Damon, DH
  6. Matt Joyce, RF
  7. Casey Kotchman, 1B
  8. John Jaso, C
  9. Sean Rodriguez, SS

Pitching Matchup: Kyle Weiland (0-1, 6.75 ERA) vs. Jeremy Hellickson (12-10, 2.90 ERA)

The victim of some bad innings in his first couple of starts, Weiland enters the game with some terribly unimpressive numbers. And, indeed, the young rookie just hasn't looked terribly good pitching against Major League opponents, or even back in the minors after his appearance with the big league team. Still, Weiland is a promising young pitcher who could well just be waiting on a breakout game.

The Red Sox will likely need that game to come now given who's starting for the Rays. Hellickson is not as impressive as his ERA would lead you to believe between a low strikeout rate and middling walk rate, but there's something to be said for the fact that he does have the Rays defense behind him, and so far that year this has worked out for him--including in a couple of solid starts against Boston. The Sox do have their full compliment of lefty hitters tonight, of course, but unless they can take full advantage of Hellickson's flyball tendencies and take a few out of the yard, it might be difficult to get anything to fall in for a hit.

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