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Rays Vs. Red Sox Lineups: Boston Sticks With Familiar Lineup Against Rays

The Red Sox' lineup has been shuffled around a number of times since the start of the season, but now it seems like--aside from days off and matchup considerations--Terry Francona has found one he is comfortable with. At least for now:

  1. Carl Crawford, LF
  2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
  4. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
  5. David Ortiz, DH
  6. J.D. Drew, RF
  7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
  8. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  9. Marco Scutaro, SS
While the shift to leadoff hasn't helped Carl Crawford improve his production any, he has looked better in recent games, getting plenty of hard contact and only coming up short thanks to some strong defense from the Yankees. Meanwhile, Dustin Pedroia has certainly found his stride, and the middle of the order is starting to work out better. With the Sox' 17 runs against the Yankees being more than they scored in their first two series combined, Terry Francona has no reason to make any changes just yet.

The Rays, too, seemed to have settled into a routine without Evan Longoria and Manny Ramirez. But tonight's lineup against Daisuke Matsuzaka looks a bit different:
  1. Sam Fuld, LF
  2. Jhonny Damon, DH
  3. Matt Joyce, RF
  4. Dan Johnson, 1B
  5. Ben Zobrist, 2B
  6. B.J. Upton, CF
  7. Felipe Lopez, 3B
  8. John Jaso, C
  9. Reid Brignac, SS
It's not hard to understand why Matt Joyce is batting third tonight--he's destroyed Daisuke Matsuzaka traditionally. What is curious is that Dan Johnson, who has terrible numbers against Daisuke, is batting fourth, especially with Casey Kotchman and his strong numbers against Matsuzaka being readily available. Kelly Shoppach also hits Daisuke noticeably better than John Jaso.