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Red Sox Vs. Athletics Lineups: Jon Lester Takes The Mound In First Half Of Doubleheader

The Red Sox and Athletics will squeeze two games into one day Saturday, trying to beat the "Hurricane Irene" clock as the bad weather rushes for Fenway Park.

The upshot of this mainly comes behind the plate, at least for now. With the games starting just five hours apart, Jason Varitek will be called on to take over behind the plate for Lester's start, which makes sense given that the Sox are less likely to need runs with him on the mound. 

That's not to say that Erik Bedard will need too many--he's been fairly impressive in his short time with the Sox. Game 2 will presumably mark the second straight time that the newest Sox pitcher is handled by Jarrod Saltalamacchia, which is important given Bedard's likely role in the playoffs.

The only other substitution of note comes at third base, with Mike Aviles playing instead of Jed Lowrie after the latter's four-strikeout day.

Boston Red Sox (80-51)

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Marco Scutaro, SS
  3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
  4. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  5. David Ortiz, DH
  6. Carl Crawford, LF
  7. Josh Reddick, RF
  8. Jason Varitek, C
  9. Mike Aviles, 3B
Hideki Matsui will be out of the lineup for the morning half of the double header. This is a bit curious given that he's been fairly good against lefties this year, and is getting the day off tomorrow, but the Sox aren't about to complain.

Oakland Athletics (60-71)
  1. Jemile Weeks, 2B
  2. Cliff Pennington, SS
  3. Coco Crisp, CF
  4. Josh Willingham, DH
  5. Brandon Allen, 1B
  6. Conor Jackson, LF
  7. Kurt Suzuki, C
  8. Ryan Sweeney, RF
  9. Scott Sizemore, 3B
Pitching Matchup: Jon Lester (13-6, 3.16 ERA) vs. Guillermo Moscoso (6-7, 3.28 ERA)

After a 15-5 beatdown at the hands of Oakland Friday night, the Red Sox will be happy to have one of their two aces on the mound in Jon Lester. While Tim Wakefield's knuckleball can make the worst teams look dominant and the best teams look foolish, there's nothing quite so unusual about the way Jon Lester works. He's good, and teams don't hit him very well. At least not unless he's in that one month a year where things go terribly wrong. Luckily, that passed back in May, and Lester has been completely dominant ever since, to the point where he now holds a career low in ERA.

Guillermo Moscoso is not Jon Lester, however close the ERA might be. He's a guy whose peripherals are screaming for regression, and might just find it at the hands of the Red Sox. He walks batters, doesn't strike them out with any great regularity, gives up an absolute ton of fly balls (Fenway is not the Coliseum), and has more trouble against lefties than righties. With the Sox offense feeling pretty good right about now, Moscoso might want to stay home today.