Francona to Use Best Offensive Lineup Against Rays


After getting part of the day off on Wednesday before being used as a pinch hitter, Victor Martinez is back in the Red Sox lineup for Friday's series opener against the Rays.

Martinez will catch Jon Lester and assume his regular role as the No. 3 hitter in the lineup, as Terry Francona elects to have his best possible offensive order face James Shields in what is a crucial series for the Red Sox.

Red Sox kick off a six-game stretch where they play the Rays and
Angels, while clinging to a two-game lead in the wild card standings.
Over those same six games, the Rangers will face the Mariners and A's
with a chance to gain ground on the Red Sox.

Here is the lineup for Friday against the Rays:

Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Victor Martinez, C
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
David Ortiz, DH
Jason Bay, LF
Mike Lowell, 3B
J.D. Drew, RF
Alex Gonzalez, SS

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