Friday, April 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Red Sox put Ortiz at first, sit Napoli

ST. LOUIS — The rules are different here.

And as much as the Red Sox don't like not having a DH in their lineup for Games 3, 4 and 5 of the World Series against the Cardinals, they have to make do.

For tonight's Game 3, that means starting usual DH David Ortiz at first base for the seventh time this season and benching regular 1B Mike Napoli, who was second on the team in homers and RBIs during the season.

Manager John Farrell said they will re-evaluate each game, but with the Cardinals starting all right-handers, it certainly sounds as if Ortiz, who has five homers this postseason, will be in the lineup, with a defensive replacement at the ready.

"David has got a long career that we all lean on and the success that he's having in this postseason to take advantage of," Farrell said.

Ortiz, 37, couldn't predict how he'd handle playing three straight games in the field but said he was open to it.

"I'll do whatever my manager wants me to do," he said. "If I've got to play three, I'll play three. If I play one or if I got to play two, I'll be down with it. I'm just an employee."

The Sox also planned to start Daniel Nava in leftfield in place of former Ray Jonny Gomes, who was 0-for-7 in the first two games.

NOT YOUR AVERAGE JOE: Cardinals RHP Joe Kelly is a 25-year-old who has made only 34 major-league starts, but he insisted he wouldn't treat his biggest to date any differently.

His plan, like usual, was to spend Friday night relaxing for tonight's start by staying up late playing online video games, specifically Call of Duty, against pro-level players.

"Competitive gaming," he said. "It helps me not to think about anything else. … It's another way I can get out there and just relax and compete at a different level."

NO JAKING: Boston RHP Jake Peavy pitched well against the Rays in the decisive Game 4 of the American League Division Series and poorly against the Tigers in Game 4 of the AL Championship Series.

He insists neither is a harbinger of what he will do tonight against the Cardinals.

"I have no extra incentive to get out there to get the sour taste out of my mouth," Peavy said. "There's no sour taste. I'm in the World Series, and my team won the ALCS. I'm excited and just got (to be) prepared for this one as I would always be prepared.

"I do understand that you have those (bad) starts throughout the year and obviously in the postseason, but after the start in Tampa, I was just as anxious to get back out there after a start where I felt in control and did my job as best I could do it. I was just as anxious to get out (there) in Detroit as I am getting off a not-so-good start to get out there in the World Series."

NUMBERS GAME: Of the previous 55 World Series tied 1-1, the team winning Game 3 has won the championship 37 times, a solid 67.3 percent. That includes 2008, when the Rays split the first two at home and then lost Game 3 to the Phillies and the Series in five games.

PITCHING IN: Boston RHP Clay Buchholz has not looked 100 percent in his between-starts throwing, but he showed "increased intensity" on Friday, and Farrell said flatly, "He's starting (Game 4) Sunday." … The Cardinals were willing to bring ace RHP Adam Wainwright back on short rest for Game 4 if they were on the verge of elimination. But now they are planning on him for Game 5 on Monday and most likely will start RHP Lance Lynn on Sunday, manager Mike Matheny said. RHP Shelby Miller is another option.

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