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Red Sox Vs. Orioles Lineups: Josh Beckett Takes The Mound To Open Crucial Series

The Red Sox will have their ace on the mound as they open their final series of the regular season with an eye to at least match the record of the Tampa Bay Rays over the last three games of the year.

The Sox needed all of fourteen innings Sunday night to knock off the Yankees, but for the first time in a while they looked simply...solid. The Sox received a decent start from John Lackey, came back from an early deficit, picked up fifteen hits, and left with a win after a very strong bullpen performance. In fact, for the first time in September, they managed more than five goals in a game where they didn't have a ridiculous double-digit explosion.

While I'm sure they wouldn't mind a few more goals against Tommy Hunter and the Orioles' defense, they'll be looking at least for more of the same from the starting nine:

Boston Red Sox (89-70)

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Carl Crawford, LF
  3. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  4. David Ortiz, DH
  5. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
  6. Jed Lowrie, 3B
  7. J.D. Drew, RF
  8. Jason Varitek, C
  9. Marco Scutaro, SS

Baltimore Orioles (67-92)


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

Pitching Matchup: Josh Beckett (13-6, 2.70 ERA) vs. Tommy Hunter (4-4, 4.86 ERA)

Josh Beckett hasn't been particularly good against the Orioles at any point this year, but his last outing was particularly bad, largely because of a slow late-inning meltdown. While it would be nice to think that the Sox could just grab six strong off of Beckett tonight, with their pen completely gassed, it's hard to imagine they'll be able to manage such a luxury.

That same start saw the Sox score four runs off of Tommy Hunter, who's now dealing with a groin injury on top of his mediocre season. If the Sox can take advantage of what is likely to be a sub-par night from a sub-par pitcher after picking up 15 hits against the Yankees, then it may not matter if Beckett isn't completely on his game.