CLEVELAND -- Lost in the chaotic finish of Saturday night's 11-inning miniseries in Boston was another strong performance by Indians shortstop Jhonny Peralta. His three-hit, four-RBI night included a booming three-run homer (left) to dead center off Curt Schilling that wiped out a 3-1 deficit. That got the Tribe back in the game when it seemed like Boston was on the road for a 2-0 lead in the series.
Peralta, the former International League MVP with the 2004 Bisons, is tied with Arizona's Stephen Drew for the postseason lead in hits (11), is second to David Ortiz in batting average (11 for 24, .458) and leads the Indians in RBIs (6).
"He's had a heck of a postseason, with a lot of big hits for us," manager Eric Wedge said today before Game Three in Jacobs Field. "He's very strong. And his personality gives him an edge because he has a sense of calm about him. When everybody else is a little amped up, that [calm] helps him."
Peralta is hitting in his customary No. 6 slot in the lineup tonight. The only change is the Indians are starting Game Two hero Trot Nixon in right field over Franklin Gutierrez. The Red Sox have made no changes.
Here are tonight's lineups:
Dustin Pedroia, 2b Grady Sizemore, cf
Kevin Youkilis, 1b Asdrubal Cabrera, 2b
David Ortiz, dh Travis Hafner, dh
Manny Ramirez, lf Victor Martinez, c
Mike Lowell, 3b Ryan Garko, 1b
J.D. Drew, rf Jhonny Peralta, ss
Jason Varitek, c Kenny Lofton, lf
Coco Crisp, cf Trot Nixon, rf
Julio Lugo, ss Casey Blake, 3b
Daisuke Matsuzaka, p Jake Westbrook, p
(Photo: Associated Press)