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Saturday, August 17, 2013
Napoli scratched; Victorino back in lineup

By Joe McDonald

BOSTON -- Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli has been scratched from Saturday's lineup against the New York Yankees due to a left foot ailment and replaced with Mike Carp.

"It's something [Napoli's] been dealing with for quite some time and he aggravated it [Friday] night on that double," explained Red Sox manager John Farrell. "When he came in today, we just felt like he needs a day down at the minimum. . . This is something that's been a maintenance thing for him for a little bit of time here."

Farrell doesn't believe Napoli's foot issue is the reason he's been struggling at the plate. "No, I can't say it's caused his swing to be less aggressive, or it's caused him to not hit from a more powerful base. It's been something he's been dealing with, but he has not expressed that as being a reason to why some of the streaks he's experienced."

Meanwhile, Shane Victorino (hamstring) had originally been given the day off, but he's back in right field.

Victorino was removed from Friday's game after the eighth inning due to a sore hamstring, so Farrell thought it best to give the outfielder Saturday off, which changed once Napoli was unavailable. The hamstring has been bothering Victorino, forcing the switch-hitter to bat from the right side more often.

"As far as his range in the outfield, or his ability to run the bases, that hasn't shown up in those areas," Farrell said.

Other Red Sox pregame news and notes:

* Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz worked another bullpen session today at Fenway.

"He feels confident he's making steady progress here," Farrell said.

If the right-hander continues to progress, his next step would be to throw a simulated game. The timing of it will be based on how he feels, and the club hasn't made a decision whether or not Buchholz will travel with the team on its next road trip to the West Coast, which begins Monday. If he does not travel with the Red Sox, it's possible he could throw that simulated game with the PawSox.

* Red Sox catcher David Ross continues his minor league rehab assignment with Pawtucket tonight. He's just 1-for-12 at the plate with the PawSox, but Farrell understands the veteran receiver is still a work in progress.

"The fact that he'll be ready to go physically and get through a consecutive nine innings of catching, these are things that are all being considered," Farrell said. "The one thing we don't want to do is delay his return, and 16 to 18 at-bats, that'll be some to get his timing back but as long as there's no residual effect of the concussion coming out of today, we feel like it's time to get him back to us."

Ross suffered a pair of concussions earlier this season and has been on the DL since June 18.

* Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia turns 30 today. When asked if he knew what his numbers are on his birthday he said, "I don't know, probably good," with a smile. Then he added as he walked to the batting cage: "When you're a career .300 hitter, every day is a good day."

Pedroia hit a home run on his birthday last year and has three career homers in six major league games on this date. That ties him with Ted Williams and Troy O'Leary for the second-most birthday homers in Red Sox history, one shy of Nomar Garciaparra's four round-trippers.

There was a cake in the clubhouse for Pedroia this morning and his family taped a birthday wish video that was shown on Fenway's giant video screen before the ballpark opened.