DENVER (AP) -The Colorado Rockies started their third center fielder in four World Series games, putting Ryan Spilborghs back in the lineup Sunday night against Boston.
Spilborghs went 0-for-5 as the designated hitter in two games at Fenway Park, striking out three times looking in Game 2. He was hitless in two at-bats off the bench Saturday, when the Red Sox moved within one win of the championship.
The Rockies benched slumping speedster Willy Taveras for Game 3, replacing him with Cory Sullivan. But Sullivan didn't provide a spark at the plate (0-for-2) and he failed to come up with the ball on a run-scoring double by Jacoby Ellsbury during Boston's six-run third inning.
Colorado manager Clint Hurdle put Spilborghs in the sixth spot, moving Brad Hawpe down to seventh. Hawpe struck out eight times in the first three games while going 3-for-13.
Taveras, a right-handed hitter, was hoping to return to the lineup for Game 4 with Boston lefty Jon Lester on the mound. Taveras pinch hit in Game 3 and lined out.
Spilborghs also pinch hit and nearly hit a three-run homer of Mike Timlin. The shot to center in the sixth was chased down by Ellsbury just in front of the 415-foot sign.
Spilborghs held down the center-field job during the Rockies' late-season surge while Taveras was on the disabled list with a thigh injury. Taveras was activated before the NL championship series and Spilborghs went to the bench.
After batting .299 with 11 home runs and 51 RBIs during the regular season, Spilborghs has struggled in the postseason with a .176 average and no RBIs.
Coming into Sunday night's game, Spilborghs was 3-for-17 in the postseason, Taveras was 3-for-26 and Sullivan 1-for-5.
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