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Red Sox vs. Rays lineups: Daniel Nava bats fifth

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Daniel Nava moves up in the order as John Farrell tries to spark a struggling Red Sox offense against the Rays.

Jim Rogash

Daniel Nava just keeps moving up in the world. After another difficult offensive performance by the Red Sox (albeit one that resulted in a win), John Farrell has bumped his switch-hitting outfielder up a step to the fifth spot in the lineup.

The flipside of this story is that Will Middlebrooks has been dropped to sixth. While the powerful third baseman did pick up a hit in yesterday's game, it was the first he'd seen since his three homer day in Toronto. The rest of the Red Sox offense hasn't exactly been going strong in the meantime, but Will's struggles have certainly been the most pronounced.

Boston Red Sox (6-4)

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Shane Victorino, RF
  3. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  4. Mike Napoli, 1B
  5. Daniel Nava, DH
  6. Will Middlebrooks, 3B
  7. Stephen Drew, SS
  8. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
  9. Jackie Bradley Jr., LF

Starting Pitcher -- Clay Buchholz

Tampa Bay Rays (4-6)

  1. Desmond Jennings, CF
  2. Ben Zobrist, 2B
  3. Evan Longoria, 3B
  4. Matt Joyce, DH
  5. Yunel Escobar, SS
  6. James Loney, 1B
  7. Jose Molina, C
  8. Kelly Johnson, LF
  9. Sam Fuld, RF

Starting Pitcher -- Alex Cobb

While the Sox have seen their fast start slow down of late, hopefully Saturday's walkoff victory--one which kept them from seeing .500 for the first time this season--will provide some wind in their sails. Having Clay Buchholz on the mound is a nice follow-up to Jon Lester, and however good Alex Cobb is, he's certainly preferable to the monster that is David Price.