BOSTON -- Red Sox manager John Farrell said he elected to start Mike Carp instead of Mike Napoli Thursday night to get another left-handed bat in the lineup against Toronto starter Chien-Ming Wang, who is holding right-handed hitters to a .190 average (8-for-42) with no extra-base hits in his first three starts this season.
"Matchup," Farrell said. "If we can balance a day of rest in between keeping fresh in addition to a matchup, that's kind of what we're looking to do."
Napoli has hits in seven of his last eight games, batting 9-for-30 (.300) in that span, driving in four runs. But since opening the month of June with eight hits in the first two games, including a home run June 1, Napoli has had just one extra-base hit, a double, and has posted a slash line of .224/.324/.241/.565 in his last 16 games.
In the first two months of the season, Napoli had 29 extra-base hits, including 20 doubles and 8 home runs.
Napoli was sent home from Baltimore and missed the last three games of the series against the Orioles. Farrell was asked if Napoli's hip condition has become a source of concern.
"No hip issue involved here. I think his swing will get a little bit long at times but that's no different than anybody else who's playing every single day."