Lineups for Game 5 in Detroit …
CF Jacoby Ellsbury
RF Shane Victorino
2B Dustin Pedroia
DH David Ortiz
1B Mike Napoli
LF Jonny Gomes
SS Stephen Drew
3B Xander Bogaerts
C David Ross
SP Jon Lester
There was lots of post-Game 4 talk about benching someone from the left side of the Red Sox’s infield and manager John Farrell has decided to sit third baseman Will Middlebrooks instead of shortstop Stephen Drew. Rookie Xander Bogaerts will get the start at third base and David Ross is also in the lineup in place of Jarrod Saltalamacchia behind the plate. Oh, and after a one-game reprieve Daniel Nava is back on the bench so Jonny Gomes can start against another right-handed pitcher.
RF Torii Hunter
3B Miguel Cabrera
1B Prince Fielder
DH Victor Martinez
LF Jhonny Peralta
2B Omar Infante
C Alex Avila
CF Austin Jackson
SS Jose Iglesias
SP Anibal Sanchez
After making big changes to the lineup yesterday Tigers manager Jim Leyland is sticking with the same alignment for Game 5, except for swapping Omar Infante and Alex Avila in the batting order. That means more Torii Hunter leading off and another game with Miguel Cabrera batting second, just like all the stat-heads would want.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.