Red Sox

Red Sox lineup: Brian Johnson returns to the mound vs. Orioles

Red Sox lineup: Brian Johnson returns to the mound vs. Orioles

The Boston Red Sox will look to make it a clean sweep against the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday afternoon. They took the first two games of their three-game series by a combined score of 20-4 and will turn to their third straight lefty starter on Sunday in Brian Johnson.

Johnson has been sidelined since early April with an elbow injury, so his return to the rotation could provide a spark for the Sox. Last season as a spot starter, Johnson had a 4-3 record and a 4.15 ERA in 13 games as a starter. He was a solid fill-in at the back of the rotation, and that's something that the Red Sox have lacked in the absence of Nathan Eovaldi

Johnson's ERA this season isn't pretty (12.71), but that largely stems from a disastrous 1 1/3 inning outing against the Arizona Diamondbacks where he gave up seven earned runs. That was just before he was put on the IL, so he may have been dealing with the injury in that outing.

The Red Sox lineup looks pretty normal for Johnson's start. The only major notes are that J.D. Martinez will play left field while Andrew Benintendi sits. Eduardo Nunez will get the nod at DH while Marco Hernandez gets the nod at second base over the hot-hitting Brock Holt.

Here are the lineups for today's game at Camden Yards with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET.

BOSTON RED SOX 
Mookie Betts, RF
Christian Vazquez, C
J.D. Martinez, LF
Rafael Devers, 3B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Michael Chavis, 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Eduardo Nunez, DH
Marco Hernandez, 2B
--
Brian Johnson, LHP (1-0, 12.71 ERA)

BALTIMORE ORIOLES
Hanser Alberto, 3B
Trey Mancini, RF
Pedro Severino, C
Renato Nunez, DH
Anthony Santander, LF
Jonathan Villar, 2B
Chris Davis, 1B
Keon Broxton, CF
Richie Martin, SS
--
John Means, LHP (6-4, 2.60 ERA) 

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MLB Rumors: Red Sox sent 'high-level' scout to Giants-Mets ace matchup

MLB Rumors: Red Sox sent 'high-level' scout to Giants-Mets ace matchup

How's this for an eye-opening development: With the MLB trade deadline reportedly less than two weeks away, the Boston Red Sox sent a "high-level scout" to Thursday's high-profile showdown between Madison Bumgarner and Noah Syndergaard in San Francisco, according to MLB Network's Jon Morosi.

But before you dream of Bumgarner or Syndergaard in a Red Sox uniform, check out Morosi's full report from Friday morning:

Morosi suggests the scout at Thursday's Giants-Mets game may have been focusing on San Francisco's relief pitchers instead of the two aces that started the game.

Tops on that list is All-Star closer Will Smith, a 30-year-old left-hander who may be the Giants' most coveted asset outside Bumgarner.

The Red Sox obviously need bullpen help, and while the team is intent on converting Nathan Eovaldi to closer, it makes sense that the scouting department would do its due diligence on available relievers in case that experiment goes awry.

Outside Smith, San Francisco also has some decent middle relievers in right-hander Sam Dyson (.935 WHIP over 46 innings) 24-year-old Reyes Moronta (59 strikeouts in 43.1 innings) and lefty Tony Watson (5.80 strikeout-to-walk ratio).

Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski may have to further deplete an already thin farm system to make another move before the July 31 deadline, but it appears Boston is at least kicking the tires on what's out there after bringing in starter Andrew Cashner last week.

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MLB Rumors: Could Jose Abreu be a trade deadline target for Red Sox?

MLB Rumors: Could Jose Abreu be a trade deadline target for Red Sox?

The Boston Red Sox will always be a candidate to make a splash at the MLB trade deadline as long as Dave Dombrowski is calling the shots.

And a longtime favorite of Dombrowski's could be on the market this year.

The Red Sox are one of "a few teams" monitoring the availability of Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu, Forbes' Phil Rogers reported Thursday night.

Dombrowski, who previously worked with the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central, has pursued Abreu before, as Boston reportedly was in "active talks" with Chicago for Abreu during the 2017 offseason and was one of four finalists to sign the slugger before he re-upped with the White Sox in 2016.

The Red Sox also have a need at first base; they're hitting a combined .239 at the position with a subpar .749 OPS, as injuries to Mitch Moreland and Steve Pearce have forced Michael Chavis to platoon at first.

As Rogers notes, the 32-year-old Abreu may not have much appeal as a rental, and it's unclear whether the Red Sox and their depleted farm system would even have enough assets to pull off a deal.

But if they're looking to shake things up at the trade deadline, adding a guy like Abreu who's good for 30 home runs and 100 RBIs a season (he has 21 homers and 66 RBIs through 92 games this year) is certainly enticing.

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