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Red Sox Vs. Orioles Lineups : Adrian Gonzalez Returns To Order Against Jake Arrieta

One day after missing his first game of the year, Adrian Gonzalez is back in the lineup Thursday night, batting third and playing his usual first base.

The Sox managed just fine against Ricky Romero despite having to mix up their batting order with Gonzalez on the bench and a lefty on the mound, now they'll return to their comfort zone: a full lineup, in the usual order, with a right-hander on the mound.

Of course, it remains to be seen whether this more orthodox group will be able to score like they used to. Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz aren't necessarily free of their slumps yet (though Ortiz has reached base in five of his last twelve plate appearances), and there's no saying for sure if the day off for Gonzalez will provide the same benefit it seems to have for Youkilis. Either way, though, it's hard to feel bad about having this bunch one-through-nine:

Boston Red Sox (51-35)


  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
  4. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
  5. David Ortiz, DH
  6. Josh Reddick, LF
  7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
  8. J.D. Drew, RF
  9. Marco Scutaro, SS
The runs haven't been flowing too freely for the Orioles of late. Scoring more than five runs only once in their last nine games, Baltimore is mired in a 1-8 slump.

Baltimore Orioles (36-48)
  1. J.J. Hardy, SS
  2. Nick Markakis, RF
  3. Adam Jones, CF
  4. Vladimir Guerrero, DH
  5. Matt Wieters, RF
  6. Derek Lee, 1B
  7. Mark Reynolds, 3B
  8. Nolan Reimold, LF
  9. Robert Andino, 2B

Pitching Matchup: Andrew Miller (2-0, 3.06 ERA) vs. Jake Arrieta (9-5, 4.74 ERA)

Andrew Miller's most recent start against the Astros was in many ways his worst with the Sox. His at-times wild nature was a bit more pronounced, the contact off of him was often loud, and in many ways he did not seem likely to go six innings with just two runs to his name.

In some ways, though, it was his best. For all the hard contact and baserunners he allowed, Miller seemed capable of turning things around at a moment's notice, dropping a well-placed four-seamer or a surprisingly good changeup on them, inducing ground ball after ground ball and, as a result, double play after double play. Like his first three opponents, the Orioles are not an overpowering offensive team, but they are likely the best bunch he's faced yet. Hopefully the step up will not be too much for him.

Jake Arrieta is exactly who the Red Sox want to see right now to keep their bats hot. A righty who can have difficulty finding the zone, relies a good deal on his fastball, and can't seem to keep lefties off the basepaths. Arrieta isn't exactly in the best place right now, either, having just given up five runs to the Atlanta Braves five days ago. This is a guy they can hit.