Red Sox Lineup 6/8/12: Ryan Sweeney In, Will Middlebrooks Out

Apr 23, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA: Boston Red Sox right fielder Ryan Sweeney (12) hits a double in the third inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. The Red Sox won 6-5. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE

Ryan Sweeney is in right field, and Will Middlebrooks is out of the lineup as the Sox take on Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals.

Sitting the inexperienced righty in Will Middlebrooks against the phenom that is Stephen Strasburg makes a fair bit of sense. Kevin Youkilis is hitting fairly well, and seems more likely to be able to lay off the wipeout secondary stuff that Strasburg has than Middlebrooks. If there is a question, it's whether or not the Sox can afford to sacrifice Will's range at third base when one run could so easily spell the difference tonight.

Getting Ryan Sweeney back in the lineup, however, seems like a fairly easy choice. Strasburg is rather tougher against right-handed hitters than he is against lefties, and Sweeney is only here to hit RHP to begin with. Add in the much-improved defense in right field over Adrian Gonzalez, and it makes sense to have him in right rather than having all three corner infield bats in the game.

Speaking of Adrian Gonzalez, after a 3-for-4 night that could easily have been 4-for-4, and with a righty on the mound, he'll move right back up the order to hit third tonight. He's got almost perfectly even splits so far this year, but it can't hurt to face a righty given his career numbers.


Lineup

BOSTON RED SOX WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Daniel Nava, LF Danny Espinosa, 2B
Dustin Pedroia, 2B Bryce Harper, CF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
David Ortiz, DH Michael Morse, DH
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C Adam LaRoche, 1B
Kevin Youkilis, 3B Ian Desmond, SS
Ryan Sweeney, RF Xavier Nady, RF
Mike Aviles, SS Tyler Moore, LF
Scott Podsednik, CF Jesus Flores, C

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