Looking at his lineup card and seeing Will Middlebrooks hitting seventh speaks volumes to Red Sox manager John Farrell. Not about Middlebrooks. But about the impact of the 6-foot-4-inch, 250-pound slugger returned to the cleanup spot Saturday. After a rehab stint in Pawtucket, David Ortiz made his regular-season debut against the Royals, providing an additional dimension to the Red Sox batting order.
“Not only the ability of him as a player and a hitter,” Farrell said. “It’s having him in the lineup.”