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Red Sox Vs. Astros Lineups: Josh Reddick, Yamaico Navarro Starting As Sox Go For Sweep

One day after hitting his first Major League homer, Yamaico Navarro will be given the start at shortstop Sunday to try and help the Red Sox sweep the Houston Astros. 

Navarro, 23, has emerged as one of the top-hitting middle infield prospects in the Red Sox' farm system over the past two years. Typically a patient hitter at the plate with a good bit of pop, Navarro found himself grossly overmatched when he first joined the Red Sox late last year shortly after being promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket. He's had most of a year to develop since then, however, and hit very well in the Dominican Winter League before dominating Triple-A to start the season. He slowed down after missing nearly a month due to injury, but the Sox seem to have faith that he's just a bit rusty.

More integral to the team's success, however, will be the top of the lineup, particularly the 2-through-4 spots. Combining for nine hits Saturday, Dustin Pedroia, Adrian Gonzalez, and Kevin Youkilis were the driving force behind the 10-run attack the Sox put up on J.A. Happ and the Houston bullpen. 

Boston Red Sox (48-34)

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
  4. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
  5. J.D. Drew, RF
  6. Josh Reddick, LF
  7. Yamaico Navarro, SS
  8. Jason Varitek, C
  9. Josh Beckett, P
The Astros, meanwhile, have finally decided to unleash their secret weapon. Matt Downs and his .981 OPS will get the start at second base, batting fifth.

Houston Astros (29-55)
  1. Michael Bourn, CF
  2. Clint Barmes, SS
  3. Hunter Pence, RF
  4. Carlos Lee, LF
  5. Matt Downs, 2B
  6. Brett Wallace, 1B
  7. Chris Johnson, 3B
  8. Carlos Corporan, C
  9. Jordan Lyles, P

Pitching Matchup: Josh Beckett (6-3, 2.20 ERA) vs. Jordan Lyles (0-3, 4.75 ERA)

Sunday's start against the Astros should provide some context for Josh Beckett's last start. If he comes out strong against an improved Astros offense (with Downs in the mix) then his bad start against Philly was just a matter of rust. If he struggles, however, then that's two straight bad games. If Beckett has his curveball going, it should serve him well against an Astros lineup that struggles against a good bender. But perhaps more importantly, he'll have to stay away from the inside part of the plate, which is where the Astros have been finding most of their offense this series.

Just 20-years-old, facing the Red Sox is a lot to ask of Jordan Lyles. While he hasn't had the greatest start to his MLB career, he's also not been bad, especially considering the defense behind him. With a varied arsenal at his disposal, the Red Sox' biggest worry will be figuring out what's coming from the unfamiliar arm.

The Sox go for the sweep at 2:05 p.m. Eastern.