Mike Napoli Returns As Red Sox Host Reds For First Time Since 2005

Mike NapoliIt might be hard to believe, but the Boston Red Sox’s upcoming two-game set with the Cincinnati Reds, which begins Tuesday night at Fenway Park, will mark just the third series between the teams since they met in the 1975 World Series.

The Red Sox will trot out their ideal starting lineup for the series opener, as first baseman Mike Napoli returns after sitting out Sunday afternoon’s 10-inning loss to the Oakland A’s. Napoli, who ranks first among qualifying Sox hitters in average, on-base percentage and OPS this season, will bat cleanup.

Red Sox manager John Farrell also has done a bit of shuffling at the bottom of the order, moving Grady Sizemore and Xander Bogaerts to the Nos. 5 and 6 slots, respectively, and dropping A.J. Pierzynski to seventh.

Tuesday will be a night of introductions for both teams, as Sizemore and Shane Victorino are the only starting position players on either side to have double-digit at-bats against the opposing starting pitcher. Sizemore is 2-for-10 with two RBIs in his career against Reds right-hander Homer Bailey, and Victorino is 4-for-11 with a home run.

No Reds starter has previously faced Red Sox lefty Felix Doubront, who has allowed three or more earned runs in five of his first six starts this season.

Check out the full starting lineups for the interleague matchup below.

Boston Red Sox (15-17)
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Shane Victorino, RF
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Grady Sizemore, LF
Xander Bogaerts, SS
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF

Felix Doubront, LHP (1-3, 5.70 ERA)

Cincinnati Reds (15-16)
Chris Heisey, RF
Joey Votto, 1B
Brandon Phillips, 2B
Todd Frazier, 3B
Ryan Ludwick, LF
Skip Schumaker, CF
Zack Cozart, SS
Neftali Soto, DH
Tucker Barnhart, C

Homer Bailey, RHP (2-2, 5.50 ERA)

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