Middlebrooks hitting second

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Middlebrooks hitting second

BOSTON -- Will Middlebrooks made his Major League debut on Wednesday. He went 2-for-3 with a double, while hitting eighth. That was good enough for a bump in the lineup.

With lefty Ryan Sweeney not in the Red Sox lineup on Friday night against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park, Middlebrooks has been promoted to hitting second in Bobby Valentine's batting order against Orioles left-hander Bruce Chen, and will once again play at third base.

"I asked if he ever hit second before, and he said, 'No.' I asked him, 'What are you going to do different?' He said, 'Nothing.' Which is the right answer," said Valentine before Friday's game.

"I asked him, 'What do you think?' And he said, 'Let's go for it.' So, he'll get his at-bats, and we'll see how that looks here in this grouping . . . I liked his at-bats the other day, and to give him another at-bat, it might be a good thing. We'll see."

Adrian Gonzalez bats third and Dustin Pedroia is in the cleanup spot. Valentine said the change in the lineup isn't about a single player's benefit.

"It never has anything to do with one guy," said Valentine. "I think Adrian's going to get hot. And I liked what they looked like together. I didn't want to get too crazy about things. We're going to face four left-handers in the next six games. So, I'd like to see if something looks good."