Top of order looks to get going, spark Sox in G3

Farrell not planning major changes for starting lineup in must-win game

Top of order looks to get going, spark Sox in G3

BOSTON -- While the Red Sox's pitching woes through the first two games of the American League Division Series vs. the Astros have been glaring, another underlying theme has been the lack of hitting.

The Red Sox have been outscored, 16-4, in the ALDS presented by Doosan and outhomered, 6-0. Boston is also hitting .227 and 4-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

Game Date Results Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 5 HOU 8, BOS 2 Watch
Gm 2 Oct. 6 HOU 8, BOS 2 Watch
Gm 3 Oct. 8 BOS 10, HOU 3 Watch
Gm 4 Oct. 9 HOU 5, BOS 4 Watch

Even with those numbers, Red Sox manager John Farrell doesn't plan to make any major changes to the starting lineup for Game 3 today at Fenway Park.

"We have been a team that has relied on one another up and down the lineup," Farrell said. "That hasn't changed. We have had stretches of really quality games played, offense produced, and we need contributions up and down the lineup. So I don't anticipate that changing tomorrow. We need everybody in the lineup to do their job."

The top of the order (Nos. 1-3) has been especially problematic in the first two games, combining to go 4-for-24 with one extra-base hit.

Farrell tried multiple players in the leadoff spot during the regular season, including Dustin Pedroia and Mookie Betts, but he has stuck with Xander Bogaerts in the postseason after he led off the last few weeks of the season.

Bogaerts finished the regular season with a nine-game hitting streak, but he is 0-for-9 in the series with three strikeouts.

"It's been tough," Bogaerts said. "You know you want to do good. It's not like you want to go out there and put up an 0-for-5 or 0-for-6 every night. You want to do good. As long as you give it your best, that's the only way you can sleep at night. It would be better with a win tomorrow. That would be helpful for a lot of us."

Bogaerts and other players recognize that scoring early is a big key to today's must-win game.

"It's probably going to take us scoring runs. We can't always depend on pitching," Bogaerts said. "We have our jobs to do, as well, as hitters. We've got to try to score as much as possible -- early on would be better. We're looking forward to tomorrow. It's going to be a big challenge. We know those guys are also prepared and they have the momentum going. But this is our home, this is our house."

Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com based in Boston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.