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Red Sox lineup: David Ortiz hits cleanup in return

04.20.13 at 9:58 am ET
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David Ortiz

Even in a best-case scenario, it’s hard to imagine that anyone would have thought that the Red Sox would own an 11-4 record while without the services of David Ortiz for the first 15 games of the season. Nonetheless, that is exactly the position in which the team finds itself as it prepares to return to the field with Ortiz following Friday’s all-consuming day of monitoring the pursuit and capture of Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Ortiz is slotted into the cleanup spot in the batting order as he prepares to face the same Royals team against whom he played his only game in the final two-plus months of last season. He will face a familiar foe in a new uniform, as right-hander James Shields will be on the mound for Kansas City. Ortiz has faced Shields, the former Rays starter, 65 times — fifth most of any opposing pitcher in his career. The DH has strong numbers against the right-hander, with a .298 average, .385 OBP and .632 slugging mark and three homers against him.

Clay Buchholz, meanwhile, will look to sustain his dazzling start to the season. He will be paired with David Ross behind the plate, perhaps in deference to the fact that Jarrod Saltalamacchia is 0-for-14 in his career against Shields.

For complete histories of the two teams against the respective starters, click here. For comprehensive team coverage, visit weei.com/redsox.

RED SOX LINEUP

Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Daniel Nava, LF
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Stephen Drew, SS
David Ross, C

Clay Buchholz, SP

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