Red Sox

Red Sox Lineup: Chavis leads off; Benintendi, Moreland sit vs. LHP

Red Sox Lineup: Chavis leads off; Benintendi, Moreland sit vs. LHP

The Boston Red Sox are taking on the Houston Astros in the final game of a three-game series on Sunday afternoon. And for the contest, the Red Sox lineup looks a bit different than normal.

Facing lefthanded pitcher, and former Red Sox, Wade Miley, Boston is giving Andrew Benintendi and Mitch Moreland the day off. As a result, J.D. Martinez will play left field while Jackie Bradley Jr. gets a chance to play center, despite the unfavorable matchup against Miley. In Martinez's place at DH, Eduardo Nunez will once again start and bat eighth.

The biggest wrinkle in the lineup is that the Sox are batting Michael Chavis lead-off. Chavis has had a hot start to his major league career, batting .281 with 7 homers, and he will get a chance to get on base in front of Mookie Betts. It also means that the Red Sox will start off their day with six consecutive righthanded batters, clearly a strategic move against Miley, who has allowed a .248 batting average to righties compared to a .186 mark against lefties.

The other major note in the lineup is that hot-hitting catcher Christian Vazquez will bat fifth. Vazquez has already set a career-high in homers with six and has stepped up his game since Blake Swihart was DFA'd. If he keeps hitting well, he will continue to hold down a middle-of-the-order spot. 

On the mound for the Red Sox will be Chris Sale. After a rough start to the season, Sale is coming off a 17 strikeout game, and he will be looking to repeat his success against one of the league's best all-around lineups.

Here's a look at the lineups for both sides ahead of today's game. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m.

BOSTON RED SOX (23-22)
Michael Chavis 2B
Mookie Betts RF
J.D. Martinez LF
Xander Bogaerts SS
Christian Vazquez C
Steve Pearce 1B
Rafael Devers 3B
Eduardo Nunez DH
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
--
Chris Sale LHP (1-5, 4.24 ERA)

HOUSTON ASTROS (31-15)
George Springer RF
Alex Bregman 3B
Michael Brantley DH
Carlos Correa SS
Yuli Gurriel 2B
Tyler White 1B
Robinson Chirinos C
Josh Reddick LF
Jake Marisnick CF
--
Wade Miley LHP (4-2, 3.51 ERA)

Swihart DFA challenged Vazquez, and he's delivering>>>

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Jackie Bradley Jr. channels 'inner Bo Jackson' to make dazzling catch

Jackie Bradley Jr. channels 'inner Bo Jackson' to make dazzling catch

Jackie Bradley Jr. probably won't be hitting 475-foot-home runs anytime soon, and he certainly won't be pursuing a second career as an NFL running back.

But the Boston Red Sox outfielder does have a little Bo Jackson in him.

Here's Bradley going airborne in the seventh inning of Tuesday's game against the Minnesota Twins to make an insane catch that's even more difficult than it looks:

The Red Sox went on to lose 3-2 in a 17-inning marathon, but after the game, Bradley admitted to attempting a Bo Jackson impression as he slammed into the centerfield wall.

Jackson, one of the best athletes of all time and a dual-sport star for the Kansas City Royals and Oakland Raiders, famously defied gravity by literally running up the outfield wall after a highlight-reel catch:

Bradley obeyed most of the laws of physics here, but his catch arguably was impressive in that he snagged the ball in midair while crashing into the wall.

The 29-year-old may have his struggles at the plate -- he's hitting .213 through 66 games this season -- but Tuesday's catch was another reminder that he's one of the best defensive outfielders (and pure athletes) in baseball.

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Here's the rule that had Alex Cora hopping mad -- until he realized the umpires hadn't gotten it wrong after all

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File photo

Here's the rule that had Alex Cora hopping mad -- until he realized the umpires hadn't gotten it wrong after all

Alex Cora needed to be separated from home plate umpire Jeremie Rehak by coaches after Tuesday night/Wednesday morning's marathon 17-inning loss to the Twins, but it only took one look at the replay for the manager to admit he was wrong.

Cora and other members of the Red Sox, most notably right-hander Rick Porcello, were incensed after Eddie Rosario fouled off a bunt attempt with one out in the 17th. Catcher Sandy Leon immediately pointed at the batter's suggesting Rosario had stepped out before making contact, which would have been an automatic out.

Cora asked Rehak to consult with the rest of the crew and third base umpire Mark Wegner agreed that no violation had occurred. Cora complained bitterly before Rosario doubled the winning run to third. Two batters later, the Twins prevailed on Max Kepler's walk-off single.

Only after the game did Cora realize that Rosario, who had slid to the front of the box while awkwardly trying to bunt against the shift, didn't actually do anything illegal.

"I want to apologize to the umpires," Cora told reporters in Minnesota. "Obviously, emotions take over. I look at the replay, and Eddie wasn't off the batter's box. They did an outstanding job for how long (the game) was. Just one of those, it's tough to swallow. You see it and the emotions take over, but it was out of character. That was my fault."

Rule 6.06 (a) states that a batter is out for illegal action if, "he hits a ball with one or both feet on the ground entirely outside the batter's box." Upon video review, the left-handed Rosario's front foot clearly does not leave the box until after the ball leaves his bat. At the moment of contact, his heel is on the line.

So, Cora did the right thing and apologized.

"I look on the video and he wasn't," Cora told reporters. "They were right and I was wrong."

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