Mike Napoli Returns To Red Sox’s Lineup Against Chris Sale, White Sox

Mike NapoliMike Napoli will return to the Boston Red Sox’s starting lineup for Thursday night’s series finale against the Chicago White Sox.

Napoli, who left Tuesday’s game in the ninth inning after dislocating his left ring finger while sliding head-first into second base, sat out Wednesday’s game in Chicago, but he’ll be back at first base and batting cleanup for Thursday’s clash at U.S. Cellular Field.

Napoli leads the Red Sox in home runs (three), RBIs (nine) and multihit games (five). Boston certainly breathed a collective sigh of relief when it was revealed Napoli dislocated his finger and did not suffer any structural damage. Manager John Farrell, who went out to check on Napoli after Tuesday’s injury, said Wednesday he initially thought the slugger suffered a broken finger and would be sidelined for weeks.

Second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who had been dealing with a sore left wrist, returned to the Red Sox’s starting lineup Wednesday and reached base four times in Boston’s 14-inning win. He’ll once again bat leadoff Thursday while Xander Bogaerts, who reached base five times Wednesday, remains in the No. 2 hole.

The Red Sox couldn’t get much going offensively Wednesday, as they managed just six hits despite pulling out a 6-4 victory. White Sox pitchers issued 15 walks Wednesday — the most the Red Sox have drawn in a single game since May 7, 1992.

It’s unlikely the Red Sox will have anything handed to them Thursday, as Jon Lester and Co. will face Chris Sale, who is one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball.

Thursday’s complete lineups are below.

Boston Red Sox (6-9)
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jonny Gomes, LF
David Ross, C
Daniel Nava, RF
Ryan Roberts, 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF

Jon Lester, LHP (1-2, 2.57 ERA)

Chicago White Sox (8-7)
Adam Eaton, CF
Marcus Semien, 3B
Dayan Viciedo, RF
Adam Dunn, DH
Paul Konerko, 1B
Alexei Ramirez, SS
Alejandro De Aza, LF
Tyler Flowers, C
Leury Garcia, 2B

Chris Sale, LHP (3-0, 2.66 ERA)

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