Shane Victorino is back in the Red Sox lineup but batting sixth for the first time this season. John Farrell said it’s a function of liking Dustin Pedroia batting second and David Ortiz third.
“Wanted to keep the top of the order consistent with what we had [in Game 5],” Farrell said. “Vic is healthy, no restrictions. Glad he’s back in right field for us.”
Hitting Victorino sixth also beefs up the lineup behind Ortiz.
Victorino missed the last two games because of lower-back pain. But he said he is ready to go.
“I feel a lot better,” said Victorino. “Progressively have gotten better every day. As we talked about Game 5, I had every intention of being there. I think that John and I discussed before the game the magnitude of the game and what had happened the night before and I totally understand what his understanding of where I was and maybe giving me that extra day and keeping the lineup the way it was.”
A few other notes:
• Jake Peavy is the starter for a possible Game 7 “as of now,” according to Farrell. That seems to leave open the possibility of starting Felix Doubront if the lefty is not used tonight.
• Clay Buchholz is available out of the bullpen tonight. Jon Lester would be available tomorrow. Lester’s soreness is “normal wear and tear” according to Farrell. Counting the postseason, Lester has thrown 248 innings this season
The Red Sox lineup:
RED SOX (3-2, 97-65 regular season)
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
David Ortiz DH
Mike Napoli 1B
Jonny Gomes LF
Shane Victorino RF
Xander Bogaerts 3B
Stephen Drew SS
David Ross C
Pitching: RHP John Lackey (2-1, 3.26 postseason; 10-13, 3.52 regular season).
CARDINALS (2-3, 97-65 regular season)
Pitching: RHP Michael Wacha (4-0, 1.00 postseason; 4-1, 2.78 regular season).
Game time: 8:07 p.m.
TV/radio: Fox / WEEI, ESPN Radio.
Red Sox vs. Wacha: Ellsbury 1-3, Gomes 0-3, Napoli 0-2, Ortiz 1-2, Pedroia 1-2, Victorino 0-3, Bogaerts 0-2, Drew 0-2, Salty 0-1.
Cardinals vs. Lackey: Beltran 1-12, Holliday 1-10, Adams 1-4, Freese 0-3, Jay 1-4, Carpenter 0-3, Descalso 0-2, Craig 0-2.
Stat of the Day: In 13 career World Series games, David Ortiz is hitting .465 (20 for 43) with nine extra-base hits, 10 walks, 12 runs, and 14 RBIs. He has a 1.370 OPS. In 54 career plate appearances in the Series, Ortiz has struck out four times.
Key matchup: Wacha against regressing to the mean. The 22-year-old has a 1.25 ERA and 0.88 WHIP in his last 12 appearances and 65 innings (counting the postseason) going back to Aug. 22. That’s an impossible standard to maintain. Does he have one more dominant game in him?
Notes: The Red Sox are seeking their eighth championship in franchise history, the third in 10 years ... The Red Sox, 69-93 last season, can become the first team since the 1991 Twins to go from last place in their division to World Series champions in the span of a year ... Ortiz has reached base in 15 of 20 plate appearances in the Series with two homers and six RBIs. He has been walked four times but only once intentionally. He homered off Wacha in Game 2. Do the Cardinals dare pitch to him again? ... Victorino returns after missing two games with a sore lower back. He is batting sixth for the first time this season ... Lackey started Game 2 and allowed three runs on five hits over 6.1 innings. Two of the runs scored after he left the game. He walked two and struck out six. Lackey won Game 7 of the 2002 World Series for the Angels ... Wacha has been almost untouchable in the postseason, giving up three runs on 11 hits over 27 innings. He has walked eight and struck out 28 ... Napoli (1 for 8), Gomes (1-14), Victorino (0 for 10), and Drew (1 for 15) are a combined 3 for 47 in the Series ... The Sox are hitting .205 in the Series. Take away Ortiz and it’s .151 (22 of 146). ... The Sox have a 2.70 ERA in the postseason, 2.01 in the Series ... Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa have combined on 5.2 scoreless innings in the Series. For the postseason, they have allowed two earned runs over 19.2 innings with one walk and 21 strikeouts ... Felix Doubront has thrown 5.2 scoreless innings in the postseason. John Farrell has said he’s available in the bullpen. But he could be crucial in a possible Game 7 with Jake Peavy scheduled to start ... The Cardinals trailed the 2011 Series, 3-2, and came back to win both games. But they were in St. Louis.