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Red Sox Vs. Orioles Lineups: Carl Crawford Returns To Lineup Tuesday Night

After missing Monday's doubleheader with a stiff neck, Carl Crawford will return to Boston's lineup Tuesday night as the Sox take on inexperienced righty Rick VandenHurk.

While Carl Crawford's year still isn't looking particularly impressive, the lefty outfielder's performances have been better in the last couple of months, and he was one of the only players who was actually hitting throughout the Tampa Bay series. And while Crawford will at least have to come up with a homer to match his replacements' contributions from Monday, it seems unlikely that he will, say, allow two straight easy fly balls to drop in.

I'm looking at you, Darnell McDonald.

The rest of the lineup is, thankfully, par-for-the-course, though Kevin Youkilis remains out with Mike Aviles playing third in his place.

Boston Red Sox (88-66)

  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. Marco Scutaro, SS
  8. Jarrod Saltalamachia, C
  9. Mike Aviles, 3B
Adam Jones and Mark Reynolds will make their first starts of the series for the Baltimore Orioles. An odd choice for the former, given his usual inability to hit lefties.

Baltimore Orioles (63-90)

  1. Robert Andino, 2B
  2. J.J. Hardy, SS
  3. Nick Markakis, RF
  4. Vladimir Guerrero, DH
  5. Matt Wieters, C
  6. Adam Jones, CF
  7. Mark Reynolds, 3B
  8. Chris Davis, 1B
  9. Nolan Reimold, LF

Pitching Matchup: Erik Bedard (5-9, 3.50 ERA) vs. Rick VandenHurk (0-0, 6.00 ERA)

It's been more than two weeks since Erik Bedard's last start with the Boston Red Sox. And while the last couple outings were not especially impressive peripherally speaking, the Sox have missed his steady presence in the middle of the rotation. The fact of the matter is that Bedard hasn't had one really bad start yet, with his worst outings being the results of bad defense or strike zone sizes. Certainly he's never produced anything like the Red Sox saw out of John Lackey and Kyle Weiland in recent days--at least not since he's come to Boston. 

His last disaster, however, did happen to come with his return to Seattle after his trip to the disabled list. The lay-off was about twice as long, but it's still a point of concern.

As for VandenHurk, well, he's thrown 178 Major League innings, and not too many of them have been terribly good judging by the 5.87 ERA. He's had a mediocre Minor League stint this year, and in his first start against Toronto gave up two homers in under three innings of work. In other words, he's got the perfect combination of mediocrity and lack of name recognition to shut the Sox down for nine innings!

Unless, of course, superstition fails to hold true.