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Red Sox Vs. Twins Lineups: Jed Lowrie's Return Mixes Up Boston Lineup

Jed Lowrie will make his return to the Red Sox' lineup Monday, starting at third as Kevin Youkilis receives a day off.

Lowrie had been on the disabled list for over a month, last appearing with the Sox on June 16 before he was diagnosed with a bruised nerve in his shoulder. He had started the year on fire, maintaining an OPS over .900 through May 5, but had his numbers drop dramatically as the year wore on and his injury worsened. 

Of course, the Sox aren't about to throw Lowrie right back into the fire batting in Youkilis' customary cleanup position, so the lineup looks more than a little different:

Boston Red Sox (70-43)

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

The most prominent figure in the Minnesota lineup over the next few games will likely be Jim Thome. While Thome only has nine long balls on the year, the prolific slugger is just two away from 600. He'll be batting sixth Monday against Tim Wakefield.

Minnesota Twins (51-63)

 

  1. Denard Span, CF
  2. Trevor Plouffe, 2B
  3. Joe Mauer, C
  4. Michael Cuddyer, 1B
  5. Jason Kubel, RF
  6. Jim Thome, DH
  7. Danny Valencia, 3B
  8. Delmon Young, LF
  9. Matt Tolbert, SS

Pitching Matchup: Tim Wakefield (6-4, 4.99 ERA) vs. Scott Baker (8-6, 3.01 ERA)

Just as Thome is going for history, Wakefield is just one win away from number 200. While he seemed on track to pick up the milestone victory in his last game, Terry Francona asked for one inning too many, and the game ended up being tied before an eventual walk-off sealed the victory in the ninth. This should be another good lineup for Wakefield to go up against, given their terrible production both overall and in the home run department.

What might lead to trouble is the man he's facing: Scott Baker. The lone bright spot in the Twins' rotation this year, Baker is also their only starter with a winning record. He's kept his ERA down by avoiding disaster starts, though he's given up four runs a good few times (and five once) including his last time out against the Angels. He's kept the ball in the zone especially well of late, so the Sox shouldn't be expecting a ton of walks. This has also led to fewer strikeouts, however, so an agressive approach might not be terribly necessary if Baker isn't being too deceptive.