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Red Sox vs. Royals lineups: David Ortiz returns

David Ortiz makes his return to the lineup Saturday as the Red Sox take on the Royals.

Jim Rogash

He's back.

Boston Red Sox (11-4)

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

Starting Pitcher -- Clay Buchholz

Kansas City Royals (8-6)

  1. Alex Gordon, LF
  2. Alcides Escobar, SS
  3. Billy Butler, DH
  4. Eric Hosmer, 1B
  5. Lorenzo Cain, CF
  6. Mike Moustakas, 3B
  7. Jeff Francoeur, RF
  8. Salvador Perez, C
  9. Chris Getz, 2B

Starting Pitcher -- James Shields

And so we see the plan for John Farrell with Ortiz back in the lineup: sticking with his top-three, and simply inserting Ortiz in the cleanup spot, pushing the rest down. Shane Victorino would be the odd man out if the manager wanted to fit both Ortiz and Napoli into the top-four, and given how much utility he's provided the Sox in the two-hole, it's not too surprising to see Farrell sticking with it for now.

He'll be welcomed backed with a matchup against James Shields, gone from the division, but not the league. Shields has been his usual strong self so far this year, but even that is nowhere near the level shown by Clay Buchholz in his first three starts. Hopefully he can keep it up and keep the pressure off the offense once again.

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