Pearce proved that his elbow injury was minor, returning with a bang after missing just one game. He hit at the top of the order with Adam Jones (hamstring) out, and did his best impression of the power-hitting leadoff man with a game-tying solo shot in the fifth inning. The veteran has now homered in back-to-back games after hitting just one between Jul. 20 and Aug. 27.
Cron extended his hitting streak to seven games with the effort and now has three home runs over his past two games. He's now up to 14 home runs in just 87 games and should have no problem blowing past his career high of 16 home runs set last year (in 113 games) if he gets regular playing time down the stretch. Cron posted a .439 slugging percentage last year, a mark that clearly wouldn't pass muster given his lack of other tools. He's up to .498 this season, and even though he has shown lackluster plate discipline (5.5 percent walk rate, .337 OBP), his power is looking like it will be enough to make him a productive major leaguer.
The home run was Ramirez's 18th of the season, and the RBI brought his total to 80. He's hitting .281 on the year and .351 with 16 RBI in his last 15 games hitting in the middle of a Red Sox lineup that leads the MLB in runs scored with 716.
Pearce did not start Monday due to elbow soreness, but he will be back in the lineup Tuesday night. Pearce will man left field Tuesday, and with Adam Jones (hamstring) not yet ready to start, he will hit out of the top spot in the batting order.
Lind, who's hitting just .195/.214/.341 over the last 14 games, will have the night off. With Lind out, Dae-Ho Lee will head to first base and hit sixth Tuesday night against the Cole Hamels and the Rangers. Lind will likely return to the lineup for Wednesday's outing.
Brad Miller will start at first and hit cleanup for the Rays while Morrison gets the night off. Over the last 14 games, Morrison has gone 7-for-32, bringing his batting average down to a bleak .227 for the year.
Moreland has struggled mightily at the plate recently, having gone 7-for-38 (.184) with 11 strikeouts over the last 14 games. He'll get the night off as Ryan Rua starts at first and hits eighth Tuesday evening.
Smoak will have the night off as Edwin Encarnacion starts at first for the Blue Jays. For the year, Smoak has a subpar line of .228/.315/.413.
Austin has seen his playing time dwindle as his performance has dipped, but he was able to break out of a 1-for-21 slump with the two-hit performance. Mark Teixeira still replaced him as a pinch hitter late in the contest and figures to be the starting option at first base most games, but Austin can continue to work himself back into the mix with better nights at the plate like Monday's.
Travis, who is recovering from knee surgery to repair an ACL tear, will likely begin 2017 at Triple-A Pawtucket, but given the current roster, there's an opportunity he'll be Boston's first baseman at some point next season.