BOSTON -- There were a couple of compelling reasons why David Ross was inserted into the lineup for the Red Sox in Game 2 of the American League Division Series against the Rays on Saturday.
Though the sample size is small, Ross has had prior success against David Price, going 2-for-5 with two homers. Conversely, Jarrod Saltalamacchia is 1-for-14 against the ace lefty and hit just .218 against southpaws this season.
There's also this: Ross and Boston's Game 2 starting pitcher John Lackey have worked well in tandem in their two starts together this season. Lackey's ERA in his two starts with Ross was 2.38.
"Small sample, but he's had a few at-bats and he's swung the bat OK against Price," said manager John Farrell. "I think he and John have pared up well. We want to keep him in the mix. He's important to us. These are the situations we signed him for -- against a left-handed starter, a good one, and taking advantage of David's abilities."
Though Ross missed a couple of months this season due to multiple concussions, he has been a highly-respected player within the clubhouse, both for his preparation and his personality.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.