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Allen Craig batting cleanup for the Cardinals, and other World Series Game 1 lineup notes

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

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BOSTON — The St. Louis Cardinals are confident enough in the returning Allen Craig to bat him cleanup in Wednesday night's Game 1 of the World Series at Fenway Park.

Craig will DH for the Cardinals against the Boston Red Sox. He's sandwiched between Matt Holliday and Yadier Molina in the lineup. It'll be Craig's first game since Sept. 4, when he sprained his left foot and was forced to miss the rest of the regular season.

"When we watched him hit live a couple of times," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said in his pre-game press conference, "and watched his bat speed, watched the fact more than anything else that wasn't favoring his foot, it became obvious he was going to be right back in the mix, as soon as we got the OK from the medical staff."

Craig hit .315/.373/.457 in the regular season, with 97 RBIs and 13 homers. Matt Adams replaced Craig at first base after his injury. Adams remains there and in Matheny's lineup Wednesday, since the AL park allows St. Louis to add a DH.

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ROBINSON GETS THE START IN CENTER
Center field has been a question for the Cardinals since Jon Jay's shaky NLCS. Shane Robinson got the starting nod in Game 6 and he gets the start again in World Series Game 1.

Matheny wouldn't commit to either center fielder moving forward, though.

"We've never doubted what Shane can do defensively," Matheny said. "We try to take every chance we can offensively when we can. And Shane did a great job, and has deserved another opportunity. Whether that's a straight platoon or not, I don't know. We'll see day to day as the opportunities present themselves.

Robinson had three hits in seven at-bats in the NLCS. He'll bat eighth in the Cardinals lineup Wednesday night. Jay, in addition to a few rough defensive moments, hit .222 in the NLCS.

BOGAERTS STARTS FOR THE SOX
In a not-that-surprising move, Red Sox skipper John Farrell is starting 21-year-old rookie Xander Bogaerts at third base instead of Will Middlebrooks, who has struggled in the postseason. Bogaerts had three doubles in the ALCS when the Red Sox turned to him. He started Games 5 and 6.

Bogaerts played in only 18 games in the regular season, hitting .250/.320/.364. He'll bat seventh for the Red Sox.

LINEUPS

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Mike Oz is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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