Breaking down Red Sox-Rays ALDS Game 3 lineups
Nava starting in left for Boston; Joyce, Molina get nod at DH, catcher for Tampa Bay
ST. PETERSBURG -- A look at Monday's starting lineups for Game 3 of the American League Division Series between the Red Sox and Rays:
Nothing too surprising going on in manager John Farrell's lineup, as Boston seeks a sweep of Tampa Bay behind right-hander Clay Buchholz, whose 2.26 ERA in nine career starts at Tropicana Field is the best among active starters.
This is the same lineup the Red Sox used in Game 1, with one exception -- Daniel Nava in left field, batting sixth -- because the Rays are starting a right-hander, Alex Cobb.
The Red Sox have scored 19 runs in two games against the Rays, and their offensive success has started at the top, with leadoff man Jacoby Ellsbury and No. 2 hitter Shane Victorino. Ellsbury went 5-for-9 with a double, an RBI and four runs scored in two games at Fenway Park, while Victorino was 4-for-8 with a walk, a run and two RBIs.
Victorino has also fared well in 13 plate appearances against Cobb, going 4-for-11 with three doubles and two walks. First baseman Mike Napoli has also hit the ball hard off Cobb, with four RBIs and two of his three hits going for doubles. Interestingly, David Ortiz has drawn five walks but recorded only one hit in 11 plate appearances against Cobb.
1. Ellsbury, CF
2. Victorino, RF
3. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
4. Ortiz, DH
5. Napoli, 1B
6. Nava, LF
7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
8. Stephen Drew, SS
9. Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Another game, another new lineup for manager Joe Maddon. Behind Cobb, who saw the Rays lose all four of his starts against the Red Sox this season, Tampa Bay moved Ben Zobrist back to the second spot, bumped up Evan Longoria to the three-hole and batted Wil Myers cleanup, despite his 0-for-9 start to the ALDS.
Maddon said he opted to start Matt Joyce as the designated hitter because he matches up better against Buchholz than Delmon Young. As for starting right-handed-hitting catcher Jose Molina over the switch-hitting Jose Lobaton, Maddon said it was more about experience behind the plate, as the two are offensively "a dead heat against this guy."
Nobody's had much success against Buchholz -- the Rays have a collective .213/.310/.279 career batting line against the right-hander -- but leadoff man David DeJesus has gone 4-for-14 with a double and three walks, and Yunel Escobar has the team's only homer off Buchholz.
1. DeJesus, LF
2. Zobrist, 2B
3. Longoria, 3B
4. Myers, RF
5. James Loney, 1B
6. Desmond Jennings, CF
7. Joyce, DH
8. Escobar, SS
9. Molina, C