Valentine may change up lineup against string of lefties

Valentine may change up lineup against string of lefties
May 8, 2012, 11:58 pm
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KANSAS CITY -- The Red Sox are in the middle of a stretch of games against lefthanded pitchers -- three in a row in this three-game series with the Kansas City Royals -- and as such, Bobby Valentine is working to ensure that the Sox lineup stays fresh.

For Tuesday's game, Valentine deployed the exact same lineup he utilized in the 11-5 win in the series opener, featuring Adrian Gonzalez dropped down to fifth, Darnell McDonald in left field and Kelly Shoppach behind the plate.

But Valentine hinted that may change things up Wednesday, when the Sox face lefty Bruce Chen.

With Josh Beckett set to start Thursday and Shoppach expected to catch him, Valentine won't want Jarrod Saltalamacchia sitting for four straight games.

"Kelly was hoping to get one of these days off, to get a lift in," said Valentine.

Also, Valentine said he would "probably" try to get lefthanded-hitting outfielder Ryan Sweeney into Wednesday's game. Sweneey has just 10 at-bats against lefties all season.

"It's not really (about) avoiding (lefties)," said Valentine of Sweneey. "I'm trying to keep him as fresh as possible, especially with his lower body. We have a string here, so he's going to be asked to play a lot of games. But I think Ryan can hit anyone."