Tito on Lowrie hitting 4th

September, 27, 2011
9/27/11
5:35
PM ET
BALTIMORE -- Red Sox manager Terry Francona explained why he decided to have third baseman Jed Lowrie hit cleanup in the most important game of the season.

“They’ve got a bundle of guys in their bullpen, and they’re certainly willing to match up, so we’ll try to use the strength of Jed’s swinging against a left-hander and get him in between David [Ortiz] and Gonzy, and hit Pedey second.”

As part of the shuffle, left fielder Carl Crawford moved back down to the eighth spot. Crawford went a combined 3-for-20 in the last four games in the No. 2 hole.

This is Lowrie's first start in the No. 4 hole. In nine career at-bats in that spot off the bench, he is 2-for-9 with a homer, 4 RBIs and 2 runs scored.

With Jason Varitek (knee) and Jarrod Saltalamacchia (collarbone) out of the lineup due to injuries, Ryan Lavarnway will be behind the plate.

Saltalamacchia says he could play if needed.

The full lineup:

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Jed Lowrie, 3B
5. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
6. Ryan Lavarnway, C
7. Darnell McDonald, RF
8. Carl Crawford, LF
9. Marco Scutaro, SS
SP -- Erik Bedard, LHP

Joe McDonald

Reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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