Nick Punto to Lead Off, Will Middlebrooks Scratched As Red Sox Make Late Lineup Adjustments


Aaron Cook makes his Red Sox debut against the Orioles on Saturday, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia will be his battery mate.

Salty returns to the Boston order a day after Kelly Shoppach got the nod behind the plate with Jon Lester on the mound.

The biggest adjustment in the Red Sox lineup, though, is at the top of the order.

Ryan Sweeney was originally slated to lead off instead of Mike Aviles, who had become the team's primary leadoff hitter since Jacoby Ellsbury went down with an injury, but it appears a third party has joined the fray.

Nick Punto will now be the first Boston hitter to step up to the plate on Saturday, as rookie Will Middlebrooks was scratched late due to hamstring tightness. Sweeney will bat sixth instead.

Cook arrives after dominating down in Pawtucket to start the year. The 33-year-old went 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA in five starts down in Triple-A this season.

The Red Sox will be looking to snap a three-game losing streak.

Check out the complete lineups below.

Red Sox
Nick Punto, 3B
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Mike Aviles, SS
Ryan Sweeney, RF
Cody Ross, LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Marlon Byrd, CF

Aaron Cook, P

Endy Chavez, LF
J.J Hardy, SS
Nick Markakis, RF
Adam Jones, CF
Matt Wieters, C
Chris Davis, 1B
Wilson Betemit, DH
Mark Reynolds, 3B
Robert Andino, 2B

Jason Hammel, P

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