CLEVELAND -- The Red Sox have outlined their pitching plans for the Boston portion of the American League Division Series. Red Sox manager John Farrell confirmed on Wednesday that Clay Buchholz will start Game 3, with Eduardo Rodriguez set to work in Game 4, if necessary. The ALDS begins with Game 1 on Thursday (8 p.m. ET, TBS).
That leaves Boston with the option of bringing back either Rick Porcello or David Price for a potential Game 5, should the series return to Progressive Field. Porcello is starting Game 1, with Price following in Game 2. Farrell said that a scenario for Game 5 has not yet been decided.
"Well, we would have two options, Rick or David," Farrell said. "And we'll see where things go from here."
Buchholz had spoken about his upcoming start during Tuesday's workout at Fenway Park, but Wednesday's announcement by Farrell marked the first confirmation that the 23-year-old Rodriguez will be set to make his postseason debut.
The assignment represents something of a gamble; Rodriguez was 3-7 with a 4.71 ERA in 20 starts this season and struggled at Fenway Park, where he was 0-4 with a 6.02 ERA in nine starts.
Farrell said that Boston's rotation as a whole represented the key reason why they are here.
"When you look at what took place in the months of August and September, our rotation stepped forward in terms of being more consistent one through five," Farrell said. "In the month of September our bullpen was at its best, and I think that was the benefit of maybe some less innings pitched in August. They were able to catch a little bit of a second wind. But, bottom line, we pitched better in the second half and that led to the record."
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.