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Ortiz to start at first in Game 3

The SportsXchange

Boston slugger David Ortiz will start at first base in Game 3 of the World Series on Saturday against the St. Louis Cardinals, Red Sox manager John Farrell said Friday.

Because there is no designated hitter when the Series shifts to the National League ballpark, Farrell will insert Ortiz, normally Boston's DH, at first in place of Mike Napoli to get Big Papi's bat in the lineup.

Farrell did not commit to starting Ortiz at first beyond Saturday's game. He did confirm, though, that right-hander Clay Buchholz, who is bothered by shoulder fatigue, will start Game 4 on Sunday against St. Louis' Lance Lynn.

Cardinals infielder Allen Craig apparently will be available for pinch-hitting duty only on Saturday but could return to the field in Games 4 or 5, possibly starting at first base. Craig is coming back from a Lisfranc injury in his left foot that occurred on Sept. 4.

Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak called Craig's chances of playing in the field on Saturday unlikely. As the Cardinals' DH in Games 1 and 2 of the World Series, Craig singled twice in seven at-bats and drew a walk.

Craig worked in the field on some defensive drills during Friday's off day session for the first time since the injury.

"We're not pushing this too hard and too fast," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "We're very excited about what we're seeing with him at the plate, and that's the main thing. And obviously having the ability to throw him into the DH spot in Boston was what we were hoping for. And he put together some good at-bats for us.

"Defensively, we'll take whatever we can get. Every day is another step. Tomorrow, we'll get him moving."

Craig had 97 RBIs during the regular season but missed the National League Division Series against the Pittsburgh Pirates and the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"Right now, we're not rushing it to where we feel we could put him in a spot to where he compromises his health and goes backwards and we can't use him either as a pinch-hitter or potentially as a DH again." Matheny said.
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