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Hot-hitting Joyce to draw at-bats in left field

Hot-hitting Joyce to draw at-bats in left field


BOSTON -- Matt Joyce has been too good to bench, and even with the addition of Wil Myers, Joyce will continue to see the majority of the at-bats, though those will now come in left field as opposed to right field, where Joyce has primarily played this season.

Manager Joe Maddon said that Joyce, who was hitting .268 with 14 homers entering Wednesday's game against the Red Sox, will occasionally be spelled by Kelly Johnson or Luke Scott, but he'll frequently be in the lineup, either in left or as the designated hitter.

"He was a former All-Star," Maddon said of Joyce. "You'll see a lot of Matt against the righties out there. You can see Matt DH too. And put Kelly out there. Or even Luke. Probably you'll see Matty there more often, but Kelly has played a really good left field this year, and you saw the other day when we put Luke out there, he did well also."

While Johnson bats left-handed, he's had reverse splits again this season, consistent with his career, as he's hit .286 vs. lefties and .240 off righties in 2013.

Myers will get the occasional day off against a tough right-handed pitcher, but for the most part, Johnson and Scott will be sharing at-bats at designated hitter.

"It'll come down to divvying out the playing time between those two guys particularly, and trying to make the best guess on a nightly basis," Maddon said.

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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