Things seem to be getting tighter by the day in the American League East. However, help in on the way for the Red Sox, who have a tiny one-game lead over the Rays in the division.
Highly touted prospect Xander Bogaerts, who was called up by the Red Sox on Monday, is expected to make his first Major League start in Tuesday's game against the Giants in San Francisco.
"He'll rotate through the left side of the infield," Red Sox manager John Farrell said Monday. "As [general manager] Ben [Cherington] and I and others talk about our position players coming down the stretch here, we're trying to build in some scheduled down days, and Xander will provide that at shortstop with Stephen [Drew]. The reason we brought Xander was a right-handed bat to complement him. That's not to say a platoon situation by any means."
He'll likely be in the lineup to support Boston right-hander Jake Peavy, who makes his fourth start with the Red Sox this season.
The right-hander allowed two runs on five hits in six innings during his last start. He also struck out four, but took the loss in a 2-1 game against the Blue Jays.
Meanwhile, Ryan Vogelsong takes the hill for the Giants, still hoping to find his form after a three-month layoff.
His fastball velocity is currently 2-3 mph slower than at the beginning of the season, something that shows he's still trying to regain arm strength after fracturing his right hand.
In his previous outing against the Nationals, the right-hander allowed three runs on six hits in 3 2/3 innings for the no-decision. He also struck out three and walked three.
"It's a little frustrating because I know I'm behind and everybody else is in midseason form," Vogelsong said after his last start.
Red Sox: Ross rejoins team
For the first time in over two months, Red Sox backup catcher David Ross was on the team's roster Monday.
Ross went through a long and arduous recovery after suffering a second concussion June 14.
His return will give the Red Sox clubhouse a veteran presence and also allow catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia to get some more rest.
"He's a guy that has handled our pitchers very well. He brings a lot of energy to our clubhouse, to the dugout," said Farrell.
Giants: Affeldt to test groin
Manager Bruce Bochy said Monday that left-hander Jeremy Affeldt might try throwing off a bullpen mound in two or three days as he recovers from a strained left groin.
Affeldt, who last pitched July 20, is currently able to play catch at a 90-foot distance.
"I don't know if I'm strong yet, but the ball's coming out really well," Affeldt said.
• With Peavy starting for Boston, Gregor Blanco will likely be back in the lineup for the Giants. Blanco has six hits in his previous 13 at-bats and is 9-for-29 in his past nine games.
• Giants infielder Tony Abreu, who has been on a Minor League injury rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Fresno, returned to AT&T Park on Monday to have a groin injury examined, Bochy said. Abreu, who hasn't played since Saturday, is batting .455 (5-for-11) on his rehab stint.
• Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli was out of the lineup for a third straight game Monday with plantar fasciitis in his left foot. Farrell hopes he'll be ready to play Tuesday.
Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.