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Farrell stands by decisions from Game 3

MLB.com

ST. PETERSBURG -- There were some tough decisions for manager John Farrell to make in the late innings of Game 3 of the American League Division Series on Monday night, and the fact that the Red Sox suffered a 5-4 loss to the Rays meant there would be some second-guessing.

The main thing scrutinized were his decisions in the top of the eighth to let switch-hitter Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit from his weaker right side and to stick with Stephen Drew one batter later. Both of those at-bats were against Rays lefty Jake McGee.

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ST. PETERSBURG -- There were some tough decisions for manager John Farrell to make in the late innings of Game 3 of the American League Division Series on Monday night, and the fact that the Red Sox suffered a 5-4 loss to the Rays meant there would be some second-guessing.

The main thing scrutinized were his decisions in the top of the eighth to let switch-hitter Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit from his weaker right side and to stick with Stephen Drew one batter later. Both of those at-bats were against Rays lefty Jake McGee.

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As far as Farrell is concerned, the decision wasn't all that difficult. McGee was as strong against righties (.217 average, five homers in 152 at-bats) as lefties (.235, three homers, 81 at-bats.

"Well, there's a lot of trust in the players we have and they've been successful throughout the course of the year," Farrell said. "But it's not just based on an intangible of trust or faith. To me, there's sound reasoning behind not pinch-hitting for Stephen Drew in that situation. I know everyone calls for the fact that just because [Xander Bogaerts] is a right-handed hitter, it's an automatic base hit. I wish that were the case."

There might be certain matchups where Farrell will have one of his right-handed pinch-hitters face a lefty instead of Saltalamacchia or Drew, but Farrell didn't see that opportunity present itself on Monday.

"It becomes situational, where you are in the game, who is available," Farrell said. "It probably depends on the time of the game. We're not carrying three catchers. You have to be a little bit careful with that. I don't want to say it's something that would prohibit us or prohibit me from making the decision earlier in the game, but you kind of balance all that."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne.

Boston Red Sox