Papi back home tonight — in three-hole
The combination of a short-handed Red Sox lineup tonight — no Ellsbury, no Drew, no Victor — has put David Ortiz back in his former home in the batting order, the three-hole. Ortiz didn’t know about the move until a flock of reporters informed him of it before the game.
Was he excited about it? “I’ll let you know after the game,” Ortiz chuckled.
During Ortiz’s slump of epic proportions early last season, manager Terry Francona took his slugger out of that spot, and this is the first time he’s been back there since May 24, 2009 against the Mets.
Ortiz has played 662 games and had 2,521 at-bats batting third, more than double his total of any other lineup slot. He has 177 of his 326 homers hitting third.
Meanwhile, a pretty big game for the Red Sox tonight if they can pull out a three-game sweep here against Garza and the Rays. Coming here 8 1/2 games back and leaving 5 1/2 back would be a significant leap.