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Middlebrooks in Game 1, but Farrell might tinker later

BOSTON -- Will Middlebrooks will remain in the lineup at third base for the Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series, but manager John Farrell hinted that top prospect Xander Bogaerts could get a start as early as Game 2.

Bogaerts could start at either short or third. The latter seems more likely considering Detroit's all-righty rotation.

"It will be Middlebrooks tomorrow," Farrell said on Friday. "And then, based on some matchups, we've got some things that we're looking at in a couple of different spots."

Though the Tigers don't have lefties in their ALCS rotation, Farrell indicated that backup catcher David Ross and left fielder Jonny Gomes both will see some playing time.

"There's a place for [Ross] in here," Farrell said. "I've yet to meet with both he and [Jarrod Saltalamacchia], so forgive me if I'm not going to reveal that right now. I think it's important that they hear it first. But there's some matchups in here that ‑‑ Salty's had good performances against some guys in the rotation. We'll look to mix and match. And it may be a strength of the combination on our side as opposed to facing an opposing pitcher."

And what of Jonny Gomes, who started Games 1 and 2 of the Division Series?

"Yes, there will be [an opportunity]," Farrell said. "And Mike Carp, as well. The strength of this team has been the depth of its roster. There are going to be some matchups that we think are more favorable in one case or another. And we've had ... complete confidence in every guy in our uniform. And they're going to be involved."

Ian Browne and Jason Mastrodonato are reporters for
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