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Red Sox Vs. Rays Lineups: Backups Take Over For Nightcap

After downing the Rays in the first half of their day - night doubleheader, the Red Sox have a fair number of backups tabbed to start in game two.

Youkilis will take a seat, which means two of Boston's three biggest bats are now out of the lineup as David Ortiz remains out with an illness. Mike Aviles will take over at short, With Jed Lowrie playing third in place of Youkilis and Carl Crawford getting a game off fielding duty at DH.

Boston Red Sox (74-46)

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Jed Lowrie, SS
  3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
  4. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  5. Josh Reddick, RF
  6. Carl Crawford, DH
  7. Mike Aviles, SS
  8. Jason Varitek, C
  9. Darnell McDonald, LF

The Rays will have a rather more impressive lineup than they did in the first half, including Johnny Damon at DH and Matt Joyce in the outfield.

Tampa Bay Rays (64-56)

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

Pitching Matchup: Erik Bedard (4-7, 3.55 ERA) vs. Jeff Niemann (7-4, 3.43 ERA) 

Bedard will once again go for his first win in a Red Sox uniform, this time hopefully with a rather more reasonable strike zone than he faced last time around. Despite the difficult circumstances he was presented against Minnesota, Bedard did manage to turn things around for the last four innings of his outing, finishing on quite the roll. The Sox will hope he's still got that momentum going Tuesday night, this time maybe with the support needed to finish with a win.

Jeff Niemann, unfortunately, is on a rather better established roll. Since allowing five earned runs in three innings against Houston, Niemann has allowed all of nine earned runs in 49 innings of work. He's not been his usual self by any means, either, flashing double-digit strikeout totals against Seattle and, yes, the Red Sox back in the July 16 game that saw 15 scoreless frames before Dustin Pedroia finally pushed a run across in the sixteenth.

The lineup that night wasn't too impressive, either, but it was better than tonight's. Hopefully that doesn't spell disaster for Boston.