J.D. Martinez in, Michael Chavis out to start series against Rangers


After a disappointing series versus the AL East-leading Tampa Bay Rays, the Red Sox (34-32) find themselves seven games behind both the Rays and Yankees. But the team that has played the fewest home games will have four chances at Fenway against the Texas Rangers to shake up the division leaderboard. 

Tonight, at 7:10 p.m. EST, Boston has ace Chris Sale on the hill. Sale has struck out ten or more batters in six of his last seven starts, and is coming off his first complete game in a Red Sox uniform. He'll face Rangers southpaw Mike Minor, who has held hitters to a .190 average this season with runners in scoring position, per MLB.com. 

Changes in the lineup for the Red Sox include the addition of designated hitter J.D. Martinez, who sat out the previous four games with back spasms. The slugger is first in All-Star voting for the DH position in the American League. At second base for Boston is Eduardo Nunez, who's playing in place of the slumping Michael Chavis. First baseman Mitch Moreland struggles against left-handed pitchers, so Sam Travis will replace him in the six-slot. 

The four games series begins tonight as the Red Sox organization and New England is reeling after David Ortiz was shot and hospitalized last night in the Dominican Republic. Red Sox executives said Ortiz will be transported to Boston tonight for medical attention, as the former Sox slugger is in serious but stable condition. 

"There's things more important than the Red Sox," manager Alex Cora said at a press conference on Monday. "It's life." 

Cora talked with the team on Monday afternoon, he said, and knows his team needs to shift focus to the Rangers.

"We'll find a way," Cora said. "We gotta go out there and perform, we have to." 

Here are tonight's lineups:

Mookie Betts, RF
Andrew Benintendi, LF 
J.D. Martinez, DH
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Rafael Devers, 3B
Sam Travis, 1B
Eduardo Nuñez, 2B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Sandy León, C

Chris Sale, LHP (2-7, 3.84 ERA)

Delino DeShields, CF
Danny Santana, LF
Elvis Andrus, SS
Nomar Mazara, RF
Hunter Pence, DH
Asdrubél Cabrera, 3B
Logan Forsythe, 1B
Rougned Odor, 2B
Jeff Mathis, C

Mike Minor, LHP (5-4, 2.55 ERA)

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