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Game 3, Starring Jon Lester As Josh Beckett

In October 2007, there was a sense of supreme confidence around the Red Sox any time they sent Josh Beckett to the mound -- and with good reason. This year, there is that same feeling surrounding the starts of Jon Lester, who will be taking the mound here at Fenway Park momentarily. A big lefty with mid-90s heat, Lester hasn't allowed an earned run in his last three postseason starts, dating to the clincher in last year's World Series. It's a huge game for the Red Sox especially, because their Game 4 pitcher, knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, is a roll of the dice. (As, to a lesser extent, is Game 5 pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka.)

Here are your lineups from Fenway Park. The Red Sox have Alex Cora at shortstop because they think he's better at handling power right-handers, such as Tampa Bay's Matt Garza, than rookie Jed Lowrie:

Rays:
Akinori Iwamura - 4
B.J. Upton - 8
Carlos Pena - 3
Evan Longoria - 5
Carl Crawford - 7
Willy Aybar - DH
Dioner Navarro - C
Rocco Baldelli - 9
Jason Bartlett - 6
(Matt Garza - 1)

Red Sox:
Jacoby Ellsbury - 8
Dustin Pedroia - 4
David Ortiz - DH
Kevin Youkilis - 5
J.D. Drew - 9
Jason Bay - 7
Mark Kotsay - 3
Jason Varitek - 2
Alex Cora - 6
(Jon Lester - 1)

By Dave Sheinin  |  October 13, 2008; 4:09 PM ET
 
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