Slumping Adrian slides to sixth against lefty

Slumping Adrian slides to sixth against lefty

BOSTON -- The fact that Adrian Gonzalez hasn't been able to get in a sustained groove this season was evident by his place in the batting order on Wednesday night. For the first time since 2006, Gonzalez started a game in the No. 6 hole.

"Just seeing if we can get a little more balance with a left-handed pitcher tonight," said manager Bobby Valentine.

The Red Sox faced lefty Wei-Yin Chen on Wednesday and will go against southpaw Brian Matusz on Wednesday.

After a superb 2011 season with the Red Sox, Gonzalez is hitting .262 with four homers and 29 RBIs this season. His on-base percentage is .316.

"I think the walks will come and the home runs will come," said Valentine. "I think that they're joined at the hip. Adrian's a really good hitter. He just hasn't found that rhythm yet at the plate. He will. He'll have his numbers.

"I'm not sure if he's going outside the strike zone or if he's too anxious and not waiting for his pitch. I'm sure he'll have a walk and a home run in one of these games and I think that will set him off."

For Wednesday's game, Kevin Youkilis hit third, followed by David Ortiz and Will Middlebrooks.