Lineups for Game 1 at Fenway Park …
2B Matt Carpenter
RF Carlos Beltran
LF Matt Holliday
DH Allen Craig
C Yadier Molina
3B David Freese
1B Matt Adams
CF Shane Robinson
SS Pete Kozma
SP Adam Wainwright
As expected Allen Craig is in the lineup at designated hitter, playing for the first time September 4, and he’s back in the cleanup spot versus left-hander Jon Lester. Lefty bat Matt Adams moves down in the order and Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has again benched Jon Jay in favor of righty bat Shane Robinson.
CF Jacoby Ellsbury
RF Shane Victorino
2B Dustin Pedroia
DH David Ortiz
1B Mike Napoli
LF Jonny Gomes
3B Xander Bogaerts
SS Stephen Drew
C David Ross
SP Jon Lester
Red Sox manager John Farrell is yet again going with righty bat Jonny Gomes over switch-hitter Daniel Nava in left field versus a right-handed pitcher. Nava hit .322 off righties during the regular season and Gomes is 5-for-25 (.200) with zero homers in the playoffs, so … who knows.
Farrell has also benched Wil Middlebrooks at third base, moving rookie Xander Bogaerts into the lineup just like he did in the ALCS finale. And behind the plate David Ross gets the start over Jarrod Saltalamacchia with Jon Lester on the mound.
The Mets rode a bloop hit and a fortuitous slide by Yoenis Cespedes into a four-run fifth inning against the Cardinals during Thursday night’s game.
After Cespedes drew a one-out walk, James Loney hit a weak pop-up into shallow left field. Left fielder Brandon Moss and shortstop Greg Garcia both gave chase but it dropped in. Cespedes, running the bases aggressively, sprinted towards third base. Moss scooped up the ball and threw to Adam Wainwright covering third base.
Cespedes appeared to have been tagged out by Wainwright, but as luck would have it, Cespedes’ cleats stuck on Wainwright’s glove and yanked it off. Cespedes was ruled safe and the Cardinals challenged the call, but it was ultimately upheld.
After that play, Curtis Granderson struck out, Wilmer Flores reached on a fielding error by Garcia, and Alejandro De Aza hit a three-run home run to right field, pushing the Mets’ lead to 7-0.
You may recall that, back in May, Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor got into a fight with Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. Bautista slid late into second base, with which Odor took issue, so he punched Bautista in the face. That earned him a seven-game suspension.
With one out in the fifth inning of Thursday’s game against the Indians, Odor reached on a fielding error by first baseman Mike Napoli. Jonathan Lucroy then hit into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play. Odor slid hard into Jason Kipnis covering second base.
Kipnis, hearkening back to the Bautista fight, backed up as if he were afraid Odor would punch him. Odor got a good chuckle out of it, but it was the Rangers’ bench which perhaps enjoyed the joke most. The Rangers’ broadcast showing Adrian Beltre cracking up and telling his other teammates what had happened.