Monday April 15, 2013 | 09:49 AM

BOSTON — Ready for some morning baseball? (The Red Sox lineup is below)

Some quick facts/thoughts before the game:

Ryan Dempster (0-1) gets the start today. It’s important for Boston to show it can win with the “other guys” in the rotation. The Red Sox are 6-0 in starts by Lester or Buchholz, and 1-4 with everyone else.

Boston starters have allowed fewer than three runs in their first 11 games.

Thanks to Clay Buchholz’s 8-inning performance on Sunday, the bullpen is well rested, with Andrew Bailey serving as the closer, should the need arise.

For more on Buchholz and his evolution from his days in Portland, see today’s column.

Boston is going with right-handed batter Jonny Gomes against Rays RHP Jeremy Hellickson (and sitting switch-hitter Daniel Nava). Manager John Farrell said it is just a day off for Nava. (also, we presume the Red Sox didn’t sign Gomes to sit him against every right-hander).

Gomes, a former teammate of Hellickson, has only face him three times, with one hit (a home run).

Jackie Bradley Jr. is in the lineup. JBJ is batting .143, and his on-base percentage has slipped to .286. Seems he is destined for Pawtucket, as soon as David Ortiz is ready for action.

Ortiz called out sick on Sunday. Pawtucket is scheduled to play at 6:15 today and Farrell said he expects Ortiz to be in the lineup. If he plays and performs well, you would think he’s headed to Cleveland.

In other rehab news, Farrell said that John Lackey’s pain in his bicep has “subsided” and he will begin a throwing program on Tuesday.

If you’re watching today’s game, you will notice that everyone is wearing the number 42 (Jackie Robinson Day).

Here is the lineup:

Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Shane Victorino RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Mike Napoli 1B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
Will Middlebrooks 3B
Stephen Drew SS
Jonny Gomes DH
Jackie Bradley Jr. LF
(Ryan Dempster P)
(Clay Buchholz P)

As usual we will be tweeting:  @ClearTheBases


About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases

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