Sox move Crawford back down to seventh

April, 18, 2011
BOSTON -- Manager Terry Francona massaged his batting order yet again.

Monday's Boston Red Sox lineup featured J.D. Drew hitting in the leadoff spot with struggling left fielder Carl Crawford dropped all the way down to seventh.

Crawford is batting a woeful .127 and has been pressing badly. Francona thought batting him seventh might take a little pressure off Crawford, who signed a seven-year, $142-million contract in the offseason.

"Right now he's having a tough time, and when you're leading off it gets magnified," Francona said Monday morning. "Moving him down should help him. If he doesn't get hits it should lessen the burden."

Francona elected to keep several left-handed hitters in the lineup for Monday's Patriots' Day game even though the Blue Jays are throwing a lefty, Ricky Romero. That's because the matchups against Romero are favorable. Drew (.450, 9 for 20 with one homer) and Jacoby Ellsbury (.417, 5 for 12) have hit him well. They been replaced by Mike Cameron and Darnell McDonald in a few games against lefties this year, but not Monday.

Jason Varitek, meanwhile, is back behind the plate for the second time in three games. The veteran captain will have the task of helping Daisuke Matsuzaka bounce back from a horrendous seven-run, eight-hit, two-plus-inning outing in his previous start.

Here's the full lineup:

1. J.D. Drew, RF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
4. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
5. David Ortiz, DH
6. Jed Lowrie, SS
7. Carl Crawford, LF
8. Jason Varitek, C
9. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
SP -- Daisuke Matsuzaka, RHP



You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?