BOSTON — Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli simply rubbed some dirt on it.
Maybe Napoli didn’t literally cover himself in filth, but he’s back in Boston’s lineup Monday after being struck in the knee by a pitch in the ninth inning of Sunday’s win over the Baltimore Orioles.
“A little sore, but ready to go,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said of Napoli on Monday morning.
Orioles reliever Darren O’Day plunked Napoli on the slugger’s left knee to load the bases in Sunday’s final frame. Napoli hit the dirt in pain — briefly silencing an electric Fenway Park crowd — but finally returned to his feet and remained in the game despite a few heart-stopping moments for the Red Sox.
“The way he went down, it didn’t look promising,” Farrell said before Monday’s Patriots’ Day showdown against the O’s. “You could hear it from the dugout. It was clearly on the bone. But once he got some feeling back, while the soreness is there, he was good to continue.
“We were somewhat anxious to see how he was going to respond this morning, but walking around after the game last night, he was mobile (and) it remained loose. So while there’s some soreness, he’s still ready to go.”
It’s been a rough week for Napoli, who also suffered a dislocated finger while sliding into second base in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s game against the Chicago White Sox. Clearly, it would take a lot to keep Napoli out of the lineup, though, as he will have played in 19 of the Red Sox’s 20 games upon taking the field Monday.