One night after being resigned to a major league deal, Scott Podsednik will start in left field against the left-handed Chris Seddon, replacing Carl Crawford in the lineup.
It won't be a direct replacement, however, as Crawford's increasingly-standard spot batting second will go to Mike Aviles. With Aviles at short and Dustin Pedroia back at second, there's no space left for Pedro Ciriaco, who will ride the pine despite having yet another good game at the plate Thursday.
With the left-handed Seddon on the mound, the Sox will also bring Kelly Shoppach into the lineup in place of Jarrod Saltalamacchia. We'll also get another look at Ryan Lavarnway at the plate as he gets the start at DH. It's been rough going for Lavarnway so far, but he deserves at least a little better than the .077 average he's managed given some of the hard hit balls he's had turned into outs.
This is one of those games that the Red Sox simply should not lose, no matter how poorly they've played in 2012 and, more specifically, over the last few weeks. They've got their best starter on the mound in Clay Buchholz, and are coming up against a minor league journeyman. I mean, yeah, it's a left-handed journeyman, and sure, you might even call him a "soft tossing lefty," but...
|BOSTON RED SOX||CLEVELAND INDIANS|
|Jacoby Ellsbury, CF||Ezequiel Carrera, LF|
|Mike Aviles, SS||Asdrubal Cabrera, SS|
|Dustin Pedroia, 2B||Shin-Soo Choo, RF|
|Adrian Gonzalez, 1B||Carlos Santana, C|
|Cody Ross, RF||Michael Brantley, CF|
|Will Middlebrooks, 3B||Shelley Duncan, DH|
|Ryan Lavarnway, DH||Casey Kotchman, 1B|
|Kelly Shoppach, C||Jack Hannahan, 3B|
|Scott Podsednik, LF||Jason Donald, 2B|