Mike Napoli back for Red Sox

Updated: June 9, 2014, 1:14 AM ET
By Paul Harris | Special to ESPNBoston.com

DETROIT -- Well that didn't take long.

In his first game back since May, first baseman Mike Napoli was in the lineup in his usual fifth spot for Sunday night's 5-3 comeback victory against the Tigers, and he made his presence felt immediately. 

Napoli provided a much-needed offensive spark for the Red Sox in his first game back since he was sidelined with a finger strain on his left hand May 23. He went 3-for-4 with a walk, run scored and run batted in. He homered in the sixth inning to tie the game at two. 

The Red Sox have been struggling offensively, but Napoli provided the boost the team expected he would.

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

Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia agreed.

"A huge part of our order. A run producer. We need him," Pedroia said.

With Napoli's return, Brock Holt -- who had been playing first in Napoli's absence -- moved to left field, where he made his first start Sunday.



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