Lineups for Game 6 at Fenway Park …
2B Matt Carpenter
RF Carlos Beltran
LF Matt Holliday
DH Allen Craig
C Yadier Molina
1B Matt Adams
3B David Freese
CF Jon Jay
SS Daniel Descalso
SP Michael Wacha
With a right-hander on the mound Cardinals manager Mike Matheny goes back to his usual lineup, which means Carlos Beltran batting second and Jon Jay starting over Shane Robinson in center field. Allen Craig is at designated hitter and in the cleanup spot and Pete Kozma is on the bench in favor of Daniel Descalso at shortstop.
CF Jacoby Ellsbury
2B Dustin Pedroia
DH David Ortiz
1B Mike Napoli
LF Jonny Gomes
RF Shane Victorino
3B Xander Bogaerts
SS Stephen Drew
C David Ross
SP John Lackey
Shane Victorino is in the lineup again after recovering from back problems, which means Daniel Nava is on the bench again in favor of Jonny Gomes against a right-handed pitcher. David Ross draws another start behind the plate over Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Xander Bogaerts keeps starting at third base over Will Middlebrooks.
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.