Joe Maddon Drops Struggling B.J. Upton, Carlos Pena in Rays’ Lineup


With a return to an American League park, David Ortiz has taken his customary spot at designated hitter as the Red Sox get set to open a big series against the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night.

Ortiz made the most of his one start at first base over the weekend in Philadelphia, going 1-for-3 with a double, RBI and two runs scored in Saturday's 5-0 win.

He and Kevin Youkilis, perhaps the team's hottest two hitters, are back-to-back in the lineup for the first time since last Wednesday.

Youkilis has reached base safely in his last 22 games with a plate appearance, leading the majors with 25 walks and batting .366 (26-for-71) overall in that span. He is 1-for-2 with two walks against Rays starter Wade Davis.

The big drama on the lineup cards involves Tampa Bay. Manager Joe Maddon has taken a bold step by dropping struggling center fielder B.J. Upton (.213 average) to eighth and equally inefficient first baseman Carlos Pena (.187) to seventh.

It is the lowest in the lineup both men have started a game all year. Pena has not started a game as low as seventh since 2007.

Here are Monday's lineups:

Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Victor Martinez, C
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
David Ortiz, DH
J.D. Drew, RF
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Jeremy Hermida, LF
Marco Scutaro, SS

Jason Bartlett, SS
Carl Crawford, LF
Ben Zobrist, RF
Evan Longoria, 3B
John Jaso, C
Hank Blalock, DH
Carlos Pena, 1B
B.J. Upton, CF
Reid Brignac, 2B

Picked For You