The Boston Red Sox will start J.D. Martinez in left field and move Andrew Benintendi to the bench as the World Series shifts to Dodger Stadium for Game 3 on Friday night.
Martinez injured his ankle in Game 1 and looked hobbled when running during Game 2, but is still set to hit fourth and play in the outfield for the first time in the postseason after previously serving as Boston’s designated hitter.
Martinez led the American League with 130 RBIs in the regular season and was second in both batting average (.330) and home runs (43). He’s hitting .333 with 13 RBIs in the playoffs.
Benintendi, hitting .283 in the postseason, went 4-for-5 in Game 1 against the Dodgers but 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in Game 2. The decision to sit Benintendi allows the Red Sox to keep ALCS MVP Jackie Bradley Jr. in center field and leadoff man Mookie Betts in right.
Shortstop Xander Bogaerts will move up to the second spot normally occupied by Benintendi, followed by first baseman Mitch Moreland and Martinez. Second baseman Brock Holt will make his first appearance of the World Series, hitting fifth and replacing Ian Kinsler, who had gone 1-for 7 at Fenway Park.
After losing the World Series’ first two games in Boston, the Dodgers will feature four new faces in the starting lineup against the Red Sox’s righty starter Rick Porcello: left-handed hitters Joc Pederson, Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy and switch-hitter Yasmani Grandal.
Dropping to the bench are righties Brian Dozier, David Freese, Enrique Hernandez and Austin Barnes, who had all started the first two games against Red Sox lefties Chris Sale and David Price.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora also said Nathan Eovaldi is “slated” to start Game 4 on Saturday, though the right-hander could also be used out of the bullpen in Game 3 if needed. Eovaldi pitched perfect eighth innings in each of the first two games.
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