Mike Napoli Returns To Boston Red Sox’s Lineup Against Detroit Tigers

Mike NapoliMike Napoli will return to the Boston Red Sox’s starting lineup Sunday against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.

Napoli, who was activated off the 15-day disabled list Sunday, hasn’t played since May 23 because of a sprained fourth finger on his left hand. The Red Sox certainly could use the slugger, as Boston enters Sunday’s series finale in Detroit having lost its last five games.

Napoli will play first base and bat fifth in his return. Brock Holt, as expected, will move out to left field while staying atop the order. Daniel Nava, who reached base four times in Saturday’s loss, will play right field and bat seventh against right-hander Anibal Sanchez.

Napoli is hitting .260 with five homers, 22 RBIs and a team-leading .390 on-base percentage this season. His return is a welcome sight for Boston, especially given David Ortiz’s struggles in the first baseman’s absence.

Holt, who has played six games at first base in Napoli’s absence, will play the outfield for the first time in his professional career Sunday. Red Sox manager John Farrell has made it clear the club plans to do whatever it can to keep Holt in the lineup, and Boston’s outfield has struggled for all of 2014.

John Lackey will take the ball for Boston on Sunday. The complete starting lineups are below.

Boston Red Sox (27-34)
Brock Holt, LF
Xander Bogaerts, 3B
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Daniel Nava, RF
Stephen Drew, SS
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF

John Lackey, RHP (6-4, 3.28 ERA)

Detroit Tigers (33-25)
Rajai Davis, LF
Ian Kinsler, 2B
Miguel Cabrera, 1B
Victor Martinez, DH
Torii Hunter, RF
Nick Castellanos, 3B
Austin Jackson, CF
Alex Avila, C
Eugenio Suarez. SS

Anibal Sanchez, RHP (2-2, 2.15 ERA)

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