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Francona: Josh Reddick Gives Red Sox A "Better Chance"

All the derisive sneers and potent venom directed in J.D. Drew's direction have finally started to register with Terry Francona. 

The Red Sox' skipper admitted Friday that the way Josh Reddick has been swinging the bat makes it "kind of hart not to play him," but also told Drew that he'd "never give up on him, either."

Reddick's appearance in tonight's starting lineup will be his 30th of the season with Boston, making it the first time he's appeared in as many games with the major league club in his career. He appeared in 27 games in 2009 and 29 in 2010 with 62 and 63 plate appearances respectively in those seasons, but has already amassed far more PAs (95) this year. 

And he's earned them, too. Reddick is hitting .378 with 20 runs and 18 RBIs - double his total in his previous major league experience. Reddick's slash line is .378/.432/.671, for an OPS of 1.102. 

Francona didn't mix words about his decision to start Reddick over Drew. 

Josh deserves to play. He’s given us such a lift in our lineup. Again, I don’t know where it’s gonna go, nobody does. As much as we want to win games, at the moment Red gives us a better chance, so that’s what we’re doing.