Sox change top of lineup for Game 3
With Youkilis on bench, Ellsbury leads off, Pedroia bats second
DENVER -- The Red Sox utilized a new top of the batting order on Saturday night for Game 3 of the World Series, tweaking their Nos. 1 and 2 spots as a result of playing without the designated hitter.
Kevin Youkilis, the Sox's usual second-place hitter, was held out of the starting lineup so that David Ortiz could move from designated hitter to first base. Usual leadoff man Dustin Pedroia, the Boston second baseman, slid down from first to second. It's the first time in this postseason that Pedroia has not led off for the American League East champions.
Rookie Jacoby Ellsbury moved from the No. 8 position he has occupied recently to the No. 1 spot in the order. Ellsbury got the start in center field.
"We're hoping he'll give us a guy that gets on base a bunch of times tonight, maybe a couple stolen bases, runs scored," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "You don't know until the game is over. The feeling was, though, just to break up [him] and Ortiz, not have back-to-back left-handed hitters. Since Youkilis isn't playing, we'd like Pedroia to hit second."
Ortiz, left fielder Manny Ramirez and third baseman Mike Lowell took their standard places as Boston's third, fourth and fifth batters. With right-hander Josh Fogg on the mound for Colorado, right fielder J.D. Drew batted sixth and catcher Jason Varitek seventh. Shortstop Julio Lugo will bat eighth, with pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka batting in the nine hole.
"I wish that we could play under different rules, but we can't, so we'll do the best we can, and our players understand that," Francona said.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.