The A.L. East-champion Red Sox, still fighting for playoff position, field their usual lineup as they open David Ortiz's final regular-season series tonight (7:10) against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox (92-67) are two games behind the Texas Rangers (94-65) in the race for the best record in the A.L., with the Cleveland Indians (91-67) a half-game behind Boston.
Rick Porcello (22-4, 3.11 ERA), the likely Game 1 starter in the ALDS, will try to add to his Cy Young Award resume tonight. He’ll be opposed by right-hander Marco Estrada (9-9, 3.53).
The Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles (both 87-72) are tied for the A.L. wild-card lead with the Detroit Tigers (85-73) 1 1/2 games back.
It’s the final regular season series for Oritz, with ceremonies planned to honor the retiring Red Sox DH prior to each of the final three game this weekend.
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Brock Holt 3B
Mookie Betts RF
David Ortiz DH
Hanely Ramirez 1B
Xander Bogaerts SS
Jackie Bradley CF
Sandy Leon C
Andrew Benintendi LF
Rick Porcello P
Eziquiel Carrera LF
Josh Donaldson 3B
Edwin Encarnacion DH
Jose Bautista RF
Russell Martin C
Troy Tulowitzki SS
Justin Smoak 1B
Kevin Pillar CF
Devon Travis 2B
Marco Estrada RHP
All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel returned to Fort Myers on Sunday after his 4-month-old daughter underwent successful heart surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital, and the Red Sox are confident he'll be ready for Opening Day.
“Oh, yeah. Plenty,” manager Alex Cora replied when asked if Kimbrel had time to get ready for the March 29 opener against the Rays in St. Petersburg. “With him it’s a different schedule, anyway. He’ll be ready.”
Kimbrel's daughter, Lydia Joy, was born with a heart defect. He left the team Feb. 28 to be with her and his family in Boston, but pitching coach Dana Levangie said Kimbrel was on a pitching program during that time.
“The most important thing is that the family is okay with [Kimbrel returning to the Sox],” Cora said. “If they’re okay with it, we’re okay with it.”
0:21 - With less than two week before the beginning of the 2018 season, the Red Sox don’t have all of the answers for their rotation. Lou Merloni and Evan Drellich project their Opening Day rotation and discuss the lack of depth in it.
4:39 - Will Boston’s version of the ‘Killer B’s’ return in full force this season? Lou and Evan analyze the performances of Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Andrew Benintendi.
10:07 - Buy or sell? John Farrell will find another managerial position this season; J.D. Martinez will have a better season than Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton; Dave Dombrowski has put the best possible team out there for 2018.
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