Xander Bogaerts was penciled into the Boston Red Sox's lineup at third base for Thursday night's Game 5 of the American League Championship Series against the Tigers at Comerica Park in Detroit.
Bogaerts replaced struggling Will Middlebrooks in the lineup and batted eighth. The Aruba native was making his first playoff start, but had batted four times in the playoffs, going 1-for-2 with two walks and four runs.
The 21-year-old Bogaerts becomes the youngest Red Sox player to start a postseason game since Babe Ruth in the 1916 World Series.
Red Sox manager John Farrell hoped to jump-start the Boston hitters, who had produced 10 runs through four ALCS games.
Bogaerts hit .250 with one home run in 18 regular-season games for the Red Sox. He batted a combined .297 this year in the minors for triple-A Pawtucket and double-A Portland.
Middlebrooks was hitting .174 in the playoffs and had one hit in 10 at-bats with five strikeouts during the ALCS.
The best-of-seven series was tied 2-2.