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Thursday, October 11, 2007
Kielty to start in right field for ALCS opener

Associated Press

BOSTON -- Bobby Kielty will start in right field instead of J.D. Drew for the Boston Red Sox in Friday night's AL championship series opener because of his success against Indians starter C.C. Sabathia.

"He was brought in here to give us some right-handed punch," Boston manager Terry Francona said Thursday.

Kielty, a switch-hitter, is 9-for-29 with two homers and four strikeouts in his career against the Cleveland lefty. Drew has faced Sabathia three times with three strikeouts.

Drew played all three games in the AL Division Series against the Los Angeles Angels and went 2-for-11 with three RBIs. Kielty didn't play in the series.

Boston signed Kielty to a minor league contract on Aug. 6 after he was designated for assignment by Oakland, and the Red Sox brought him up on Aug. 18.

"I've seen the ball well out of his hand," Kielty said. "There's no question when hitters have success against pitchers they always feel mentally more confident."

Drew struggled much of the season after signing a $70 million, five-year contract as a free agent before the season. He hit .270 with 11 homers and 64 RBIs but hit well late in the season. Kielty hit .231 in 52 at bats for Boston.