The Red Sox open a 3-game set against the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight in Pittsburgh without David Ortiz, who left Sunday's game in the 7th inning due to a family emergency. The Red Sox will look to play spoiler against the Pirates, who currently sit in the 2nd wild card spot in the National League, a game and a half ahead of Milwaukee.
The Sox will send Anthony Ranaudo to the hill tonight against Charlie Morton, who has been dealing with a sports hernia since early June and is making his 1st start in about. Ranaudo, meanwhile, is coming off a start in which he lasted 3 1/3 innings against the Baltimore Orioles. He'll be looking to prove his worth for next season, but he's had his struggles, especially with the long ball. He's posted a 5.40 ERA in 5 starts in the big leagues. He'll be looking to improve on that tonight when he takes on the Pirates lineup.
Meanwhile, Xander Bogaerts has continued his hot hitting in the month of September, finishing up the series with the Royals with a 3-4 showing on SUnday. He's 21-64 in September with 4 home runs, 11 RBI's and 8 runs scored in September. He'll be the one providing the spark, along with Mookie Betts, who has been equally as hot (19-57). The last time the Red Sox and Pirates met, the Pirates took 2 of 3 from Boston in 2011, so the Red Sox will look to avoid a repeat of that.
9/16 at PIT: Betts 2B, Bogaerts SS, Nava RF, Céspedes LF, Napoli 1B, Middlebrooks 3B, Bradley Jr. CF, Vazquez C, Ranaudo RHP
— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) September 16, 2014