Rob Refsnyder will be making his Boston Red Sox debut, while the Sox will send right-hander Garrett Whitlock to the mound for his first career MLB start. J.D. Martinez is out of the lineup for his third straight game as well as first pitch is at 6:10 p.m. ET against the Tampa Bay Rays Saturday night at Tropicana Field.

Refsnyder, who’s had a solid start to his season in Triple-A Worcester hitting .400/.551/.600 across 11 games with one homer, 12 RBI, and a 216 wRC+, will bat ninth. The 31-year-old ex-Yankee can play all outfield positions as well as first base, though he’ll be the designated hitter for tonight’s affair.

Martinez has been dealing with a left adductor injury and he’s out of the lineup for the third straight day, though he’s available off the bench tonight, as he was in last night’s 4-3 win.

Trevor Story will also lead off for Boston for the third straight day, while Venable will also be managing his third straight game, though yesterday’s notebook mentioned Cora was feeling much better and should return to the managing role fairly soon. Boston will roll out a similar lineup as last night’s as Whitlock faces Rays’ 29-year-old right-hander J.P. Feyereisen.

Whitlock is making his first career start. Here’s some intel on it that you can read from yesterday’s pregame notebook:

“I’m sure he’s excited,” said acting manager Will Venable Friday before their series opener in St. Petersburg. “He’s been in a lot of situations that challenge a young pitcher. He’s handled them all and I think he’ll be normal Garrett out there tomorrow.”

Boston is pushing back the start of Rich Hill, who’s currently on the bereavement list after losing his father, Lloyd, to Sunday. He usually starts fifth in the rotation after No. 4 starter Michael Wacha — who starts tonight — but they’ll give him an extra day on the list.

According to manager Alex Cora, who recently tested positive for COVID-19, the second-year right-hander will pitch three to four innings.

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Boston Red Sox Lineup vs. Rays

Red Sox
1 2B Trevor Story
3B Rafael Devers
SS Xander Bogaerts
LF Alex Verdugo
CF Kiké Hernandez
RF Jackie Bradley Jr.
1B Bobby Dalbec
C Christian Vazquez
DH Rob Refsnyder
Garrett Whitlock (1-0, 0.93 ERA)


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