Jason Varitek Behind the Plate to Handle Tim Wakefield’s Knuckleball As Mark Teixeira Returns to Yankees Lineup

NEW YORK — Marco Scutaro will make his second straight start since returning from the disabled list when the Red Sox look to take over sole possession of first place in the American League East on Wednesday night.

Scutaro is a .304 (7-for-23) hitter against New York Yankees starter A.J. Burnett. Jed Lowrie, who has been bothered by a shoulder ailment, is just 2-for-12 (.167) with four strikeouts.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona indicated Tuesday that Lowrie might be back in there at shortstop against Burnett, but has altered that plan, either because of the matchups or due to the shoulder.

Scutaro is one of a handful of Boston starters with success against Burnett. Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia and Carl Crawford each have averages over .300 against the right-hander. David Ortiz, who drew some ire from Yankees manager Joe Girardi for his dramatic bat flip following a home run in the series opener, is a .256 (10-for-39) hitter against Burnett, but three of his hits were home runs and five of them doubles.

One noteworthy development in the lineup is the insertion of Jason Varitek with knuckleballer Tim Wakefield on the mound. Jarrod Saltalamacchia had been handling the bulk of the catching duties with Wakefield pitching this year. Also, Varitek will probably be behind the plate Thursday catching Josh Beckett, giving the veteran catcher back-to-back games in oppressive heat.

Below are the complete batting orders for both Boston and New York.

Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2b
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
David Ortiz, DH
Carl Crawford, LF
Marco Scutaro, SS
J.D. Drew, RF
Jason Varitek, C

New York
Derek Jeter, SS
Curtis Granderson, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Alex Rodriguez, DH
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nick Swisher, RF
Brett Gardner, LF
Eduardo Nunez, 3B
Francisco Cervelli, C

Yardbarker

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 195,314 other followers