Sox vs. Indians: Crawford moved up to No. 2 in batting order

Lineups have been posted for tonight’s opening game of the three-game series between the Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians, and manager Terry Francona has flip-flopped two players:

Photo credit colleenwhary via Photobucket

Ellsbury CF
Crawford LF
Pedroia 2B
Gonzalez 1B
Youkilis 3B
Ortiz DH
Drew RF
Saltalamacchia C
Scutaro SS

Carl Crawford has moved up to second in the order, with Pedroia moving back to third. The move is presumably to take some pressure off Crawford, who has gotten off to a rough start thus far.

The Indians are putting RHP Josh Tomlin (6-4, 4.56 ERA in 2010) on the hill, so the matchup is very favorable with two left-handed batters at the top of the order.

Crawford started the season 0-7 with four strikeouts in his first two games, and Francona moved Crawford to seventh in the order for Sunday’s series finale with the Texas Rangers. Crawford responded, collecting his first two hits of the season.

Crawford has indicated he wants nothing to do with leading off, however he seems well-suited for the number two hole in the order. Pedroia has shown he can hit just about anywhere he’s installed, so no worries whatsoever with him.

The feeling is that Crawford may have been pressing early on, trying to land a good impression with his new teammates. No matter the case, the number two hole could be the spot in the order where Crawford finds his comfort zone.

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