Red Sox vs. Indians lineups: Will Middlebrooks sits as Sox go for the sweep

USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox will give their slumping third baseman a day off as they look to win their sixth straight game Thursday night in Cleveland.

The Red Sox are gunning for a series sweep Thursday night as they send Jon Lester to the mound against Zach McAllister.

Pedro Ciriaco will be getting his first start of the year at third base as the Red Sox give Will Middlebrooks a day off. It's been tough going for the young third baseman, who probably needs this day to clear his mind more than anything else. A 2-for-30 streak will get in anyone's head, much less that of a sophomore.

Boston Red Sox (10-4)

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Shane Victorino, RF
  3. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  4. Mike Napoli, 1B
  5. Daniel Nava, LF
  6. Jonny Gomes, DH
  7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
  8. Stephen Drew, SS
  9. Pedro Ciriaco, 3B

Starting Pitcher -- Jon Lester

Cleveland Indians (5-8)

  1. Michael Brantley, LF
  2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
  3. Carlos Santana, C
  4. Nick Swisher, 1B
  5. Mark Reynolds, DH
  6. Ryan Raburn, RF
  7. Mike Aviles, 3B
  8. Cord Phelps, 2B
  9. Drew Stubbs, CF

Starting Pitcher -- Zach McAllister

It's not exactly the most intimidating lineup we've seen from them, especially with Zach McAllister on the mound. He's the sort who will make the opposing team earn their way on base...or he will if his defense will let him. The young righty has been tagged with four unearned runs already this season.

Of course, the Sox are hoping they won't need much with Jon Lester on the mound. Shaky-but-respectable in his first outing of the year, Lester has been pretty lights out ever since. Bad starts will happen for this Red Sox team at some point--fourteen games with fewer than four earned runs allowed by their rotation is already an unreal number--but at the moment they seem a lot more likely to come from the back-end than the revitalized front.

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