Chisenhall ill, makes lineup 'easy decision' for Francona

Manager already had been leaning toward OF alignment of Santana, Davis and Guyer vs. Lester

Chisenhall ill, makes lineup 'easy decision' for Francona

CHICAGO -- Indians manager Terry Francona had a lineup in mind for Game 5 of the World Series against the Cubs, and circumstances dictated that he follow through with his planned batting order.

A few hours before Cleveland's game against Chicago on Sunday night, outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall became ill and was instructed to remain at the team's hotel. Francona noted that Chisenhall was scheduled to arrive at Wrigley Field before game time to hopefully be available off the bench.

"Lonnie has had a tough day. He's sick," Francona said. "We sent him back to the hotel with the hopes that, one, he doesn't make everybody else sick, and hopefully more toward game time we'll get him here and get some fluids in him, see how much he can be available."

Game Date Matchup Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 25 CLE 6, CHC 0 video
Gm 2 Oct. 26 CHC 5, CLE 1 video
Gm 3 Oct. 28 CLE 1, CHC 0 video
Gm 4 Oct. 29 CLE 7, CHC 2 video
Gm 5 Oct. 30 CHC 3, CLE 2 video
Gm 6 Nov. 1 CHC 9, CLE 3 video
Gm 7 Nov. 2 CHC 8 CLE, 7 (10) video

That made the lineup "an easy decision" for Francona.

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With Chisenhall out of the mix and the Cubs starting left-hander Jon Lester, Francona went with Brandon Guyer in place of Chisenhall in right and gave the start in center to Rajai Davis. Guyer had a 1.021 OPS in 151 plate appearances against lefties this season and was batting .308 in the postseason entering Sunday. Davis typically starts and leads off against left-handers.

For left field, Francona again went with Carlos Santana, who is usually a first baseman or designated hitter. With no DH in play under National League rules, Francona has had to be creative in finding a way to play both Santana and first baseman Mike Napoli. Santana also started in left in Game 3 on Friday night. During Game 4, Santana played first and Napoli was on the bench.

Even if Chisenhall had not been sick, Francona was leaning toward that outfield alignment with Lester pitching.

"I wanted Guyer, Santana and Nap all to play," Francona said. "It's hard without the DH to maneuver it any way else."

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.