Trot Nixon, who sparked the 11th-inning rally in Game 2 with his go-ahead RBI single, will draw the start in right field over Franklin Gutierrez, who delivered the crowing blow of Cleveland's 13-6 victory Saturday night/Sunday morning at Fenway Park with his 3-run homer off Jon Lester.
Perhaps manager Eric Wedge was playing the percentages on this one since Nixon has faced Daisuke Matsuzaka before (1 for 5 with a double) while Gutierrez has never seen the Sox' ballyhooed Japanese right hander.
``Well, Trot, his playing time has been somewhat limited here the last couple of months,'' Wedge said before Game 3. ``But when we have had him in there, he's given us some good at-bats.
``You know, I look at Gutierrez, and we've thrown a lot at him for a young kid, and he's done a great job,'' Wedge continued. ``He had a big home run the other night. But they've been feeding him a steady diet of breaking balls and I think we'll see more of that tonight with Matsuzaka. Getting another left-hander in there with some experience, I think it's the best way to go.''
And so, on an unseasonably warm evening here in Cleveland (where we hope we won't get swarmed by bugs), to the lineups we go .....
1. Grady Sizemore, CF
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B
3. Travis Hafner, DH
4. Victor Martinez, C
5. Ryan Garko, 1B
6. Jhonny Peralta, SS
7. Kenny Lofton, LF
8. Trot Nixon, RF
9. Casey Blake, 3B
SP: Jake Westbrook.