Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 4/13/13
Carl Crawford couldn’t handle bouncing around the Red Sox’ order at the beginning of his stint in Boston. Shane Victorino had no such issues, and it’s now become clear exactly where he belongs. Victorino bounced back-and-forth between the No. 2 spot and No. 7 spot in Boston’s lineup during the team’s first four games. He’s now firmly implanted in the two-hole, and it’s in large part because of the havoc that him and Jacoby Ellsbury can wreak on opposing pitchers at the top of the order. Victorino went 2-for-5 on Saturday to up his average to .341. He also recorded his third stolen base of the season, and, of course, drove in the game-winning run in extra innings. Ellsbury, meanwhile, is still settling in at the plate, but he’s already off to a fast start on the bases, notching his fifth theft of the year in Boston’s 2-1 win. The 10th inning really gave a glimpse as to what the Red Sox could have in the tandem of Ellsbury and Victorino at the top of the lineup. After Jarrod Saltalamacchia –- who pinch-hit for David Ross –- struck out to begin the inning, Ellsbury singled up the middle. From there, the Sox had options. “Well, after [Ellsbury] gets the base hit, I felt like we had a real good opportunity to steal a base,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said after Saturday’s game. “Not just because of Jake’s basestealing ability, but because the combination there was something we might be able to take advantage of.” Ellsbury did take off for second, and Rays catcher Jose Lobaton’s throw ricocheted off shortstop Yunel Escobar’s glove and into right field, allowing Ellsbury to advance to third. Rays manager Joe Maddon opted at that point to stack the infield with an extra infielder –- thus leaving just two outfielders. Victorino responded by hitting a sharp ground ball to the right side of second base. Escobar made a diving play, but Ellsbury was off on contact, and he scored easily to give the Red Sox the win. “That’s the type of game we want to play,” Farrell said. “We want to force the defense to put pressure on them, and when you’ve got a guy with that kind of speed down there, any kind of ball that’s not directly at someone, that’s a pretty difficult play for an infielder to change directions — not only field the ball cleanly, but throw a strike anywhere from 90 to 100 feet away from home plate. A contact play is something we use consistently.” One could certainly chalk up the Red Sox’ aggressiveness on the base paths as “relentless,” which is the key word that Farrell mentioned upon being introduced as Red Sox manager. Being “relentless” is a lot easier when you have Ellsbury and Victorino at the top of the order, though. Both players have great speed and handle the bat well, which is a potent combination to have setting the table for the likes of Dustin Pedroia, Mike Napoli and Will Middlebrooks. Even when the middle of the order isn’t hitting particularly well, Ellsbury and Victorino -– given their speed –- can make an impact by manufacturing a run. There’s no reason to believe the 1-2 combination of Ellsbury and Victorino can’t became even more dangerous going forward, as the duo fits right in with the aggressive approach Farrell is trying to instill offensively. Have a question for Ricky Doyle? Send it to him via Twitter at @TheRickyDoyle  or send it here. 
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Wisconsin kicker will wear 27 to honor Nebraska's Sam Foltz

Dennis Schroder wears disguise to play in German streetball tournament

Browns indicate they will give Josh Gordon another chance

Prince Fielder to undergo season-ending neck surgery

Eagles want Carson Wentz to be 'starter ready' Week 1

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: 49ers concerned Anthony Davis will quit again

Did Manning hurt NFLPA's case in HGH investigations?

Report: Steinbrenner won't allow fire sale, wants to make playoffs

Report: Dion Waiters agrees to one-year deal with Heat

Report: Junior Galette out for season with torn Achilles

Usain Bolt, Justin Gatlin in war of words over 'disrespect'

Tom Jackson could leave ESPN after almost three decades

Cavs sign coach Tyronn Lue to a five-year extension

More than 10,000 people registered for Jaguars Pokemon Go night

NFL issues new concussion protocol

Angels listening to offers on Hector Santiago

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

Kevin Durant’s OKC restaurant will be closed, rebranded

Lamar Odom said to be held back by one 'toxic friend'

Mario Balotelli crashes Liverpool fans' wedding

Michael Vick: I used to feel I was 'dominating too much'

WATCH: Astros, Rangers minor leaguers get into brawl

A too early preview of UEFA World Cup 2018 qualifying

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker