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First World Series start worth the wait for Salty

First World Series start worth the wait for Salty


BOSTON -- Jarrod Saltalamacchia waited six years before getting his first Major League full-time starting catcher job in 2012. He had no problem being a little extra patient before making his first World Series start.

Saltalamacchia took a seat on the bench for the Red Sox's 8-1 win over the Cardinals in Game 1 on Wednesday, as David Ross earned the start with Jon Lester on the mound. Ross has caught Lester's last three postseason starts and the team wants to stick with what's working.

Saltalamacchia, who was in the lineup, batting seventh for Game 2 on Thursday, said he had absolutely no problem with the team's decision to start Ross in Game 1.

"I want to win," Saltalamacchia said. "He's been doing a great job with Jonny. He showed it against Detroit. In order for us to win, we all have to contribute. Him playing is obviously a plus to us."

When Ross was healthy during the regular season, Saltalamacchia, a switch-hitter, had been getting the nods against most right-handed pitchers while Ross got the start against lefties. But Ross has become more of Lester's personal catcher in the playoffs, delaying Saltalamacchia's first World Series start.

"If we're talking about the regular season," said manager John Farrell, "I wouldn't go down the path of assigning one catcher to a specific pitcher."

Saltalamacchia, who was catching John Lackey in Game 2, is seeing a lot of his own hard work come to fruition. When he was traded to the team in the middle of the 2010 season, he had to learn the entire pitching staff. After the struggles the team went through in '12, Saltalamacchia has played a big role in the pitching turnaround in '13.

"I was with these guys through the pains of trying to get the mechanics down, trying to grind through some guys who had a bad year basically," he said. "I've learned a lot."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. Jason Mastrodonato is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @jmastrodonato. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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