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Red Sox vs. Dodgers: Xander Bogaerts starts, David Ortiz does not

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Xander Bogaerts will start, David Ortiz will sit as the Red Sox look to close out their West Coast road trip with another series win.

Lisa Blumenfeld

Xander Bogaerts will be in the starting lineup Sunday night, but David Ortiz is conspicuously absent as the Red Sox go for what would be an important series win.

Boston Red Sox (76-55)

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Shane Victorino, RF
  3. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  4. Mike Napoli, 1B
  5. Jonny Gomes, LF
  6. Will Middlebrooks, 3B
  7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
  8. Xander Bogaerts, SS
  9. Jake Peavy, P

Los Angeles Dodgers (76-53)

TBA

So why no Ortiz today? It's hard to imagine this is a matter of lefty - lefty, given the simple drop in quality from Ortiz to Napoli at the plate. That leaves us with a few possibilities then, as I see it:

  1. Napoli had a good game yesterday and, having been held out for a while by plantar fasciitis, could use a couple games in a row to get ready for regular playing time back in the American League.
  2. David Ortiz is not feeling terribly good right now. Farrell mentioned he was sore after his first game at first, so perhaps two more have made him less comfortable than the team would like.
  3. Connected to that, but Ortiz is hitless during this road trip. Perhaps he's so ill-suited to the field that it's reducing his efficacy at the plate.
Whatever the case, we've got what we've got, and Chris Capuano is the guy to put a bunch of right-handed hitters in against. So John Farrell has done that with Napoli, Gomes, Bogaerts, and the rest of the gang, with only Jacoby Ellsbury batting from the other side of the plate. Hopefully that ends up making life more difficult for Capuano than it has for a fair few other lefties before him.

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