Mike Napoli Sits Amid Brutal Slump As Mike Carp Gets Start at First for Red Sox in Houston


Mike NapoliAfter tying their 2012 win total with a come-from-behind victory over the Astros on Tuesday, the Red Sox will look to become the first team to reach 70 wins this season in Wednesday’s rubber match in Houston.

Boston’s offense exploded for 15 runs in Tuesday’s game due to contributions from the Red Sox’ first four hitters. Jacoby Ellsbury, Shane Victorino, Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz combined for 11 hits, seven RBIs and 11 runs scored in the game, and they will look to follow that performance with more offensive support for starter Ryan Dempster.

Ellsbury, Victorino, Pedroia and Ortiz will occupy the top four spots again in Wednesday’s lineup, but Mike Carp will hit fifth and play first base in place of Mike Napoli.

Jonny Gomes will get the start in left field and bat sixth behind Carp for the Sox. Gomes replaced Carp in the sixth inning of Tuesday’s win and added instant offense, going 2-for-3 with a home run and four RBIs.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia is also back in the lineup for the Sox after Ryan Lavarnway struggled to sync up with knuckleballer Steven Wright on Tuesday, allowing four passed balls in the first inning. Saltalamacchia, who will bat eighth behind shortstop Stephen Drew, will look to get Dempster back in the win column after being tagged for seven runs in his last outing.

Dempster (6-8, 4.54 ERA) has just one quality start in his last six outings and will have a tough matchup against Houston’s Jarred Cosart. The Astros rookie is 1-0 in his four starts on the season and has allowed only three earned runs in 28 innings pitched, resulting in a 0.96 ERA.

Check out the lineups for both teams below.

Boston Red Sox (69-46)

Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Carp, 1B
Jonny Gomes, LF
Stephen Drew, SS
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Brock Holt, 3B

Ryan Dempster, RHP

Houston Astros (37-75)

Robbie Grossman, LF
Brandon Barnes, CF
Jose Altuve, 2B
Jason Castro, C
Marc Krauss, DH
Brett Wallace, 1B
Matt Dominguez, 3B
L.J. Hoes, RF
Jake Elmore, SS

Jarred Cosart, RHP

TMZ logo

© 2017 NESN