Mike Napoli Returns To Red Sox Lineup As Boston Opens Series With Yankees

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The Boston Red Sox are looking to make one last push before the All-Star break, and they’ll do so with Mike Napoli in the lineup.

The Red Sox first baseman has struggled mightily all season, but he’ll make his return to the lineup Friday night when the Sox open a three-game series with the New York Yankees at Fenway Park.

Napoli hasn’t started a game since July 4 and is marred in a 2-for-27 slump. The first baseman is hitting just .192 this season and has seen his average drop 25 points since June 6.

One Red Sox player who is red-hot at the plate, though, is shortstop Xander Bogaerts. He’s carrying a seven-game hitting streak during which he’s gone 13 for 30 and driven in eight runs. Brock Holt will put an eight-game hitting streak of his own on the line Friday night.

Clay Buchholz starts on the mound for the Red Sox, and he’ll be looking to avenge his worst start of the season. He was lit up by the Yankees on April 12, allowing nine earned runs over just 3 1/3 innings. Buchholz has been fantastic of late, though, going 4-0 with a 0.87 ERA over his last four starts.

Michael Pineda will start for the Yankees.

Here are the lineups for both clubs.

Red Sox (41-45)
Mookie Betts, CF
Brock Holt, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Hanley Ramirez, LF
Pablo Sandoval, 3B
Mike Napoli, 1B
Alejandro De Aza, RF
Sandy Leon, C

Clay Buchholz, RHP (7-6, 3.27 ERA)

Yankees (46-39)
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Brett Gardner, LF
Alex Rodriguez, DH
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Brian McCann, C
Garrett Jones, RF
Didi Gregorious, SS
Stephen Drew, 2B
Cole Figueroa, 3B

Michael Pineda, RHP (8-5, 3.79 ERA)

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images

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