Lineup: Lavarnway back in, hitting fifth

September, 28, 2011
BALTIMORE -- Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona is sticking with the hot hand behind the plate for Wednesday night's do-or-die game No. 162 against the Baltimore Orioles, starting Ryan Lavarnway at catcher after the rookie homered twice in Tuesday night's victory.

The 24-year-old will bat fifth in making his second career start behind the plate. The game is the biggest of the season for the Red Sox, who enter play Wednesday tied for the wild card lead with the Tampa Bay Rays, who face the New York Yankees on Wednesday in their regular season finale.

Red Sox catchers Jarrod Salatalamacchia (collarbone) and Jason Varitek (knee) are banged up, though Francona said Wednesday that Salatalamachia is available to play.

“Salty could go, but I don’t think he’s close to 100 percent, but we’ve got a kid that drove in four runs and caught a pretty good game, feels good about himself and (Jon) Lester is OK with him catching,” Francona said. “Rather than go the other way where Salty starts and then we bring the kid in, I think we’re better off doing it this way.

“This kid played a pretty good game last night.”

Francona informed both Saltalamacchia and Lavarnway of the decision following Tuesday’s game.

“Right now what we do as a team is so much more important than what happens individually,” Francona said. “(Saltalamacchia) sees that more than anybody. This is a good kid we’re talking about.”

Here is the full lineup:

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
5. Ryan Lavarnway, C
6. J.D. Drew, RF
7. Marco Scutaro, SS
8. Carl Crawford, LF
9. Mike Aviles, 3B
SP -- Jon Lester, LHP

Joe McDonald

ESPN Staff Writer



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