This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Boston • Shane Victorino's stiff back is feeling better, so Red Sox manager John Farrell plans to start him when Boston tries to win the World Series championship in Game 6.
Boston leads the St. Louis Cardinals 3-2 going into Wednesday night.
The right fielder missed the last two games, and the Red Sox won without him. In Game 4, Jonny Gomes hit a three-run homer in a 4-2 win after Victorino was a late scratch from the lineup.
Victorino also sat out Monday night's 3-1 victory, although his back wasn't as stiff as it had been.
"He was available last night," Farrell said Tuesday at Fenway Park. "He wasn't restricted to defense only or at the plate only. We fully expect him to be full go tomorrow."
Victorino is having a rough Series at 0 for 10.
Farrell also said David Ross would start his second straight game at catcher instead of regular Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Ross, known for his handling of pitchers rather than his hitting, had a tiebreaking double in the seventh inning of Game 5.
"David has given us a spark offensively out of the position. And that's not to be disrespectful to Salty in any way," Farrell said. "And, at the same time, David has done a great job running the game from a game-calling perspective."
Ross is 3 for 12 with six strikeouts in three games. Saltalamacchia is hitless in six at-bats with four strikeouts in the other two games.
Stacking the Cards
St. Louis manager Mike Matheny expects to have banged-up Allen Craig in the lineup for Game 6.
Craig missed more than a month because of a sprained left foot before returning for the World Series. The cleanup man and first baseman was the designated hitter for the first two games in Boston, and started one game in the field at St. Louis. Craig is 4 for 12 in the Series. He doubled and scored the winning run on an obstruction call in Game 3, then later was held to a single when he hit a ball to the wall at Busch Stadium.
"I had a quick conversation with him. He said he felt good today. So that was a great response and what we wanted to hear," Matheny said.
Matheny said he was still deciding where to put Carlos Beltran in the lineup. Beltran has hit in both the second and fourth slots.
"It could go either way. Running through multiple lineups. Many of them just on paper, scratching all over the place," Matheny said.