Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 5/23/13
A familiar face will be back at Fenway Park on Thursday, but he’ll be setting up shop on the opposite side of the diamond. Terry Francona makes his first trip to Boston as the manager of the Indians as the Red Sox open a three-game set with Cleveland. Though Francona’s team was swept by the Sox in three games in Cleveland back in mid-April, the Indians have exceeded all expectations in their first year under the former Red Sox skipper. Their 26-19 record gives them a half-game edge over Detroit, the defending American League champion, in the AL Central entering Thursday. With Shane Victorino still unavailable with an injury, Daniel Nava shifts up to the No. 2 spot in the Boston order after Jonny Gomes occupied Victorino’s usual slot each of the last two night. Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who has been hitting ninth recently, will bat behind Mike Napoli in the No. 6 hole, with Mike Carp playing left field and rounding out the bottom of the order. Carp has played sparingly this season — appearing in just 22 games — but has posted a solid .302 batting average. He has struggled of late, though, going 0-for-15 with one walk in his last eight games. Carp’s last base hit came in a 3-1 win over Toronto back on May 2. See the full starting lineups for both teams below. Boston Red Sox (28-19) Jacoby Ellsbury, CF Daniel Nava, RF Dustin Pedroia, 2B David Ortiz, DH Mike Napoli, 1B Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C Will Middlebrooks, 3B Stephen Drew, SS Mike Carp, LF Ryan Dempster, RHP Cleveland Indians (23-19) Michael Bourn, CF Jason Kipnis, 2B Asdrubal Cabrera, SS Michael Brantley, LF Carlos Santana, 1B Mark Reynolds, DH Yan Gomes, C Mike Aviles, 3B Drew Stubbs, RF Zach McAllister, RHP
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