1:05 p.m.: Jacoby Ellsbury will finally get his day off.
Ellsbury, who has played in every game this season, was scheduled to have Saturday night off, but Shane Victorino’s absence because of a back issue meant Ellsbury needed to remain in the Red Sox’ lineup. Victorino will return on Sunday, and he’ll play center field and lead off for the first time this season while Ellsbury sits.
Stephen Drew, who was banged up while diving head first into second base on Friday, will be out of the lineup for a second straight game. That means Pedro Ciriaco will play shortstop in his place and bat ninth.
The rest of Sunday’s lineups are below.
Red Sox (26-17)
Shane Victorino, CF
Jonny Gomes, LF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Daniel Nava, RF
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Pedro Ciriaco, SS
John Lackey, RHP (1-4, 4.05 ERA)
Jamey Carroll, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, 1B
Trevor Plouffe, 3B
Oswaldo Arcia, DH
Wilkin Ramirez, LF
Chris Parmelee, RF
Aaron Hicks, CF
Pedro Florimon, SS
Pedro Hernandez, LHP (2-0, 5.79 ERA)
8 a.m. ET: Saturday’s win was, in many ways, symbolic of the Red Sox’ season. When someone else falters, the rest of the team is there to pick him up.
On Saturday, it was Ryan Dempster who didn’t turn in his best effort. The right-hander lasted just 4 2/3 innings, surrendering five runs on a season-high eight hits and six walks. He ultimately received a no-decision because of his inability to close out the fifth inning, but the Red Sox still emerged victorious because of a huge game by the offense, particularly David Ortiz.
Ortiz, who got off to a slow start in May (much like the Red Sox as a whole), hit a pair of home runs and racked up six RBIs as part of Boston’s 12-run, 13-hit attack. It marked the second straight game he’s reached base safely four times, and it’s hard to imagine he ever went through an 0-for-17 slump earlier this month, just as it’s suddenly hard to believe the Red Sox lost nine of 12 before winning their last four games.
John Lackey will toe the rubber in the series finale in Minnesota, and he’ll look to extend Boston’s winning streak to five games. Lackey gave up a season-high five runs in his last start on Tuesday, so he’ll be looking to bounce back against a pesky Twins team in this one.
Sunday’s first pitch is scheduled for 2:10 p.m. Tune in on NESN, and keep it right here with NESN.com for an all-around good time.