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."

Thomas (hip) feeling better, but still no determination on surgery

Thomas (hip) feeling better, but still no determination on surgery

BOSTON –  Brad Stevens said Isaiah Thomas (hip) is feeling better, but no decision has been made on whether the two-time All-Star will have surgery.

“He’s doing some rehab work out there with his people in Seattle,” Stevens told a pool reporter during Thursday night’s NBA draft. “He’s getting ready to host his Zeke-end (basketball tournament), which is a big deal for him.”

Thomas, who led all players in the Eastern Conference with a 28.9 points per game average, suffered a right hip injury in Boston’s second-round series against Washington but continued to play through it.

However, the injury only worsened and ultimately led to him being unable to return in the second half of Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals against Cleveland which ended in five games.

Stevens said no decision has made yet as to whether Thomas will require surgery.

“He has his follow-up appointment here in a couple of weeks to determine next course of action,” Stevens said. “And nothing’s determined after that. He hasn’t done a lot, physically, and will be off his feet until that next appointment, or won’t be doing any basketball.”