Red Sox ALDS Game 2 lineup: David Ross, Jonny Gomes start vs. Rays LHP David Price
|10.05.13 at 3:09 pm ET|
It’s a limited sample, of course, but when the opponent is David Price, even a hint of success will suffice to inspire a lineup alteration. That is the case for the Red Sox as they look to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five ALDS on Saturday.
The team will turn to David Ross behind the plate against Price. Ross has just five career plate appearances against Price, but he’s homered in two of them. Meanwhile, Jarrod Saltalamacchia has a career line of .071/.176/.143 in 17 career plate appearances against the 2012 Cy Young winner. Those lines, coupled with the fact that Saturday starter John Lackey has had some difficulty controlling the running game (opponents were successful in 36 of 43 stolen base attempts against him in the regular season) and that Ross is viewed as one of the best in the game at controlling opponents on the bases, led to the decision to start Ross (in the No. 9 spot) while sitting Saltalamacchia.
“He’s important to us,” manager John Farrell said of the decision to start Ross. “These are the situations [why] we signed him – against a left-handed starter, a good one and taking advantage of David’s abilities.”
With Ross in the lineup, Will Middlebrooks moved up from the No. 9 to the No. 7 spot in the order. Jonny Gomes remains in the lineup in left field against the left-hander, with Daniel Nava sitting.
Lackey, meanwhile, will be making his first playoff start for the Red Sox. His past success on the postseason stage (including a victory in Game 7 of the World Series as a rookie in 2002) played a part in the Sox’ decision to sign the right-hander to a five-year, $82.5 million deal after the 2009 season. In 14 career playoff games (12 starts), Lackey is just 3-4 but with a 3.12 ERA in 78 innings.
RED SOX LINEUP
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jonny Gomes, LF
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Stephen Drew, SS
David Ross, C
John Lackey, SP
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