Sox set to activate Napoli on Sunday

DETROIT -- The Boston Red Sox are anticipating the return of their No. 5 hitter on Sunday.

First baseman Mike Napoli, who has been on the disabled list since late May with a finger strain on his left hand, is scheduled to be activated on Sunday, and the plan is for him to go right into the lineup at first and his accustomed fifth spot in the batting order, behind David Ortiz.

Getting Napoli back would be a good thing at any time but it's particularly good now because the Red Sox are struggling to score runs.

"You're talking about a guy who had over 20 home runs and almost 100 RBI for us a year ago [23 homers and 92 RBIs]," Boston manager John Farrell said. "So that's a guy we're happy to have back."

In addition to the finger, Napoli also had a couple of other nagging injuries when he was placed on the DL.

Napoli's return means that Brock Holt, who has been playing first in Napoli's absence and batting leadoff, will move to left field.

Holt, who has been shagging flies in the outfield for the past few days, has played all four infield positions during his professional career but never the outfield.

"His athletic ability will allow him to play left field. It's a learn-on-the-job situation," Farrell said. "We like what he's done in the leadoff spot."

Holt is hitting .314 in 26 games with a .357 on-base percentage.

Buchholz pushed back

Right-handed starter Clay Buchholz, on the DL with a hyperextended left knee, was scheduled to pitch a simulated game before Saturday night's contest against the Detroit Tigers.

But Farrell said the Comerica Park field wasn't available and that the simulated game is now scheduled for Sunday afternoon at 3:30.

Colbrunn update

Farrell said hitting coach Greg Colbrunn was feeling better, walking around more and was less disoriented than he had been.

Colbrunn was diagnosed with bleeding in the brain, a potentially life-threatening condition, after being taken to the Cleveland Clinic before Wednesday's game with the Cleveland Indians.

Farrell said that he has texted with Colbrunn, who is expected to make a "good" recovery.

Badenhop extends streak

With 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief in Friday night's 6-2 loss to Detroit, right-hander Burke Badenhop extended his streak of not allowing an earned run to 26 1/3 innings (22 games).

"He's been tremendous in relieving with his sinker ball and the number of double plays he has produced has been great," Farrell said. "A great addition to our bullpen and the success that it's had."

Badenhop was acquired from Milwaukee in a trade in November.

He was originally drafted by Detroit in 2005 (19th round) and in December 2007, Badenhop was one of the players the Tigers sent to the Florida Marlins in exchange for Miguel Cabrera. Badenhop's current Red Sox teammate, left-hander Andrew Miller, was also sent to the Marlins by Detroit in that deal.


Infielder Xander Bogaerts was 1-for-4 with a RBI on Friday night and has reached base in 22 of his last 24 games. He is batting .351 (34-for-97) in that span.