Ryan Kalish Bats Second, Nick Punto Playing Second Base As Red Sox Open Four-Game Set With Yankees


Ryan Kalish Bats Second, Nick Punto Playing Second Base As Red Sox Open Four-Game Set With YankeesThe Red Sox are about to open arguably their most important series of the year, and they'll have to do so without the services of second baseman Dustin Pedroia.

Pedroia has hit the disabled list with another thumb injury which means the club has to struggle to fill his spot on the 25-man roster and in the lineup. Bobby Valentine will try to fill the hole with Ryan Kalish and Nick Punto on Friday night when the Sox open a crucial four-game set with the division-leading Yankees.

Kalish will play center field and hit second in Pedroia's customary batting spot, while Punto will hit ninth and fill Pedroia's void defensively at second base.

The shuffling also continues at third base where Mauro Gomez is back in the lineup at third base after being called up when the team was on the West Coast to fill in for Will Middlebrooks who is still sidelined with hamstring tightness.

Former Dodgers hurler Hiroki Kuroda will start the opener for the Yankees. Adrian Gonzalez and Cody Ross are the only members of the Boston lineup with more than two at-bats against the Japanese right-hander dating back to their time in the NL West. The duo has combined for three home runs and seven RBIs in a combined 42 career at-bats against Kuroda.

Josh Beckett will get the start for Boston.

Here are the lineups.

Red Sox
Daniel Nava, LF
Ryan Kalish, CF
David Ortiz, DH
Cody Ross, RF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Mauro Gomez, 3B
Mike Aviles, SS
Nick Punto, 2B

Josh Beckett, RHP

Derek Jeter, SS
Curtis Granderson, CF
Alex Rodriguez, DH
Robinson Cano, 2B
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Nick Swisher, RF
Raul Ibanez, LF
Eric Chavez, 3B
Russell Martin, C

Hiroki Kuroda, RHP

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