Xander Bogaerts replaces struggling Will Middlebrooks at third base for Red Sox

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DETROIT — The Red Sox did not intend to start 21-year-old Xander Bogaerts in a postseason game this year. The plan was for him to become a starter next season, not in the middle of the playoffs. This month was supposed to fall under the “good experience” category.

But Bogaerts was at third base for Game 5 of the American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers on Thursday night, starting in place of a slumping Will Middlebrooks.

The Red Sox needed help offensively and Bogaerts was the logical choice.

“The one thing that Xander has shown in the brief opportunities that he has had is a consistent approach, and it’s time to throw him in the fire,” manager John Farrell said before the game.

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