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Mike Napoli, Clay Buchholz discuss pros, cons of baseball sleepover 04.21.14 at 4:30 pm ET
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Clay Buchholz (left) and Mike Napoli were roommates at Fenway Sunday night with mixed results. (AP)

Clay Buchholz (left) and Mike Napoli were roommates at Fenway Sunday night with mixed results. (AP)

There’s very little that can truly scare Mike Napoli.

Sleeping on the bottom bunk of bed that has a grown man and starting pitcher on top qualifies.

Monday was one of those truly bizarre days at Fenway, thanks to the unkind schedule-maker and MLB that had the Red Sox play a nationally televised night game on ESPN hours before the traditional 11:05 a.m. Patriots’ Day contest.

To compensate, and to help Napoli get added treatment on a sore left kneecap, the Red Sox provided a solution. Years ago, when the Red Sox renovated their clubhouse, they put aside a room designed to allow staff, players and coaches to sleep in, if needed.

Sunday night into Monday morning provided just such a scenario.

“There’s two bunk beds in there,” Napoli told reporters after Monday’s 7-6 loss to the Orioles. “Just a dark room, blankets, pillows, all the necessary things to sleep.

“I didn’t want to deal with all the traffic. Just being here was easier. I knew it was going to be an early morning, so just stayed here. We have a sleep room upstairs. It’s convenient.”

Of course, Napoli had a sore kneecap because Orioles reliever Darren O’Day drilled him in the bottom of the ninth.

“I mean, I could move my leg around and run. It was just a little sore,” Napoli said.

There were three Red Sox players who elected to take advantage and avoid Monday’s traffic into the Fens. Napoli, Monday’s starter Clay Buchholz and John Lackey. So that meant someone had to bunk up. With Buchholz starting, Napoli and Lackey decided to split the other.

“I was bottom. Had Lackey above me,” Napoli said, before confessing he was “kind of scared he was going to fall through, to tell you the truth.”

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Read More: Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Clay Buchholz, ESPN
Red Sox Marathon Monday notes: Mike Napoli, Clay Buchholz, John Lackey have a sleepover, Napoli ‘a little sore’ but ready to go at 10:25 am ET
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Whenever you can hear an injury from the dugout, you immediately fear the worst.

But John Farrell can breathe a little bit easier after Mike Napoli came downstairs from spending the night in the Red Sox clubhouse and reported he was good to go and bat cleanup for the Red Sox after taking a Darren O’Day pitch to the outside of his left kneecap Sunday night.

“A little sore but ready to go,” Farrell reported Monday morning. “He and a couple other guys spent the night here with the quick turnaround but we’re at full strength, ready to go today. That’s why it’s there. They’re taking advantage of it.

“The way he went down, it didn’t look promising. You could hear it from the dugout. It was clearly on the bone. But once he got some feeling back, while the soreness was there, he was good to continue. We were somewhat anxious to see how he was going to respond this morning. But walking around after the game last night, he was mobile. It remained loose so while there’s some soreness, he’s still ready to go.”

Joining Napoli in sleeping over at Fenway were Monday’s starting pitcher Clay Buchholz and fellow starter John Lackey. Did Farrell need to spend the night at Fenway, too?

“No, I didn’t. I have my own sleeping room,” Farrell quipped.

Farrell acknowledged Monday morning that the schedule “is what it is” and even showed some humor when one reporter asked if he could judge the mood of the clubhouse after such a short night.

“How do you feel this morning?” Farrell replied. “We’re on short rest but the game goes on and we’ll be there, I can’t say with bells on, but we’ll be raring to go.”

Brock Holt was penciled into the starting lineup as the leadoff hitter Monday, marking the fifth leadoff hitter the Red Sox have used this season.

“He’s had very good at-bats, both [against] lefties and righties,” Farrell said. “We’ve had a number of different guys in that leadoff spot. I recognize that. I think the priority becomes keeping some continuity, 2 through 6, which we’ve been able to do with this alignment. That’s where we are today.”

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Read More: Baltimore Orioles, Boston Marathon, Boston Red Sox, Brock Holt
Monday’s Red Sox-Orioles matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. Wei-Yin Chen at 7:12 am ET
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The Red Sox will conclude their four-game series against the Orioles on Marathon Monday when they send Clay Buchholz to the mound against southpaw Wei-Yin Chen.

Buchholz has yet to replicate his early-season magic from 2013, when he looked like a Cy Young candidate. In 2014, the 29-year-old has gone 0-1, posting a 5.51 ERA and a 1.714 WHIP, both above his career averages, a 3.64 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP.

The Texas native has shown improvement in his three starts, giving up less hits and putting his team in a position to win. His last start came Wednesday against the White Sox. Buchholz lasted six innings that day, giving up three runs (two earned) on six hits, striking out six and walking two.

The Red Sox went on to win the game 6-4 in 14 innings. While Buchholz went six innings, he pitched 51 pitches in the first two innings.

“It was a little bit of a grind there for a couple of innings,” Buchholz said after the game. “It was sort of similar to [Jake Peavy] on [Tuesday] night. I had a long inning and sometimes you’ve got to find a way to pick your team up when things happen in an inning. Tried to battle to get through that first one.

“It’s tough to bounce back from a first inning like that. But this team, everybody knows they like to swing, so I was able to get through a couple of innings later on with a lot fewer pitches than I normally do.”

Buchholz has been successful in his career against the Orioles, posting a 9-3 record with a 3.40 ERA and a 1.276 WHIP in 16 games, 15 of them being starts. Buchholz first faced the Orioles in 2007, appearing twice, once as a starter and once from the bullpen. He combined to pitch 12 innings, allowing one hit and no runs, while striking out 12 and walking five.

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Read More: Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Clay Buchholz, Wei-Yin Chen
Sunday’s Red Sox-Orioles matchups: Jake Peavy vs. Ubaldo Jimenez 04.20.14 at 9:37 am ET
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The Red Sox will host the Orioles on Sunday night looking to take a win from their divisional rivals by sending Jake Peavy to the mound against Ubaldo Jimenez.

Peavy is the only Red Sox starting pitcher without a win or loss, despite pitching well. In his three starts this season, Peavy has posted a 1.93 ERA and a 1.179 WHIP while striking out 20 and walking 10.

The 32-year-old’€™s last start came on April 15 against his former team, the White Sox. Peavy went six innings that day, giving up one run on a home run. The Red Sox lost the game in the bottom of the ninth inning, 2-1. The game was noted for being particularly cold, averaging around 40 degrees throughout.

“We battled through six, gave us a chance to win,”€ Peavy said after the game. “€œThat’s what I’m trying to do on my fifth day”

Peavy has made three starts against the Orioles, going 2-0 in those games. His first start against them came in 2007, when he pitched six innings and gave up three runs on six hits, striking out seven and walking two. It wouldn’t be until 2012 when Peavy faced the Orioles again, this time pitching seven innings and allowing one run on four hits. Both games were wins. His last start against the Orioles came in 2013 when he went seven innings, allowing three runs on six hits, striking out eight and walking one.

Jimenez has struggled in 2014, going 0-3 with a 7.31 ERA and a 2.063 WHIP. His last start came against the Blue Jays on April 13, when he went 5 1/3 innings and surrendered five runs on 10 hits and two home runs while walking two and striking out three.

The 30-year-old has struggled against the Red Sox in five career starts, going 1-3 with a 10.27 ERA. His worst game came last year when he only last 1 2/3 innings, allowing seven runs and five walks. Jimenez faced the Red Sox this year, his season debut on April 2, pitching six innings and allowing four runs on five hits and two home runs.

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Read More: Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, jake peavy, ubaldo jimenez
Grady Sizemore collects three hits in minor league game: ‘I still have to prove I’m the guy’ 03.19.14 at 3:05 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — Grady Sizemore continued his red-hot spring on Wednesday, this time in a Triple-A spring game outside JetBlue Park.

Sizemore collected three hits in four at-bats over seven innings during Pawtucket’s game against the Norfolk Tides, Baltimore’s Triple-A affiliate.

Sizemore blooped a double to shallow left in his first at-bat in the first inning. He slowed around first base as the left fielder dove for the ball but then accelerated toward second once he saw the ball was not caught.

“Every day has been better and better,” Sizemore said after the Triple-A game. “Every day seems to be a little bit stronger and the body seems to be reacting a little bit faster each week and I’m just trying to build off that.

“I didn’t know how the body was going to hold up, on a day to day [basis], or if I was going to be able to push it every day, and so far it’s allowed me to kind of keep upping the volume and pushing the intensity. I still don’t feel like I’ve reached that ceiling where I went too far. As long as I’m there, I’m happy.”

Sizemore said he’s not thinking about whether he’s ready to break camp with the team in a week.

“I’m not looking at it that way. I think it’s just trying to get back into shape, get conditioned, get the body feeling right and get the timing right,” Sizemore said. “It’s one of those things where I still have to earn a spot. I still have to prove I can play every day and still have to prove I’m the guy.”

The Red Sox didn’t get much of an opportunity to evaluate Sizemore in the field as his only chance came when he fielded a double in the gap in right-center early in the game. Defense is an area where Sizemore says he’d like to see a greater comfort level.

“Everything feels good but I still feel like there’s a lot of room for improvement,” Sizemore said. “Just getting breaks, getting a better first step and feeling more explosive and feeling more explosive and feeling that first step. I’m happy where it’s at but I’d like a little more improvement.”

Sizemore drove a slider to right field in the third for a single and singled on a two-strike count in the fifth before grounding out to second base to end the seventh. He came out of the game and headed to the Red Sox clubhouse with training staff to cool down. He is expected to start Thursday night in center against the Yankees.

Sizemore did not attempt to steal a base in his three appearances on the bases.

Read More: Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, grady sizemore, New York Yankees
Sunday lineups: Jonny Gomes leads off vs. Orioles as Mike Yastrzemski visits grandfather Carl 03.02.14 at 9:26 am ET
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Mike Yastrzemski, here with Vanderbilt, is hoping to go all out for the Orioles. (AP)

Mike Yastrzemski, here with Vanderbilt, is hoping to go all out for the Orioles. (AP)

FORT MYERS, Fla. — It will be a family reunion of sorts as Baltimore Orioles minor league outfielder Mike Yastrzemski visits JetBlue Park to take on the Red Sox at 1:05 p.m.

Carl Yastrzemski, Mike’s grandfather and Red Sox hall of famer, arrived at the Red Sox minor league clubhouse around 8 a.m. and is expected to take in the game and watch his grandson play.

“I think anytime those bloodlines are so recognizable, I’m sure for many it brings back visions of the older and I think anytime we can see generations play out on the field, it’s one of the unique things that sports offers,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said Sunday morning before the game.

The grandson, who starred at Vanderbilt University, has been drafted not once, not twice but three times by major league teams.
The Red Sox selected him in the 36th round of the 2009 MLB June Amateur Draft from St. John’s Prep (Danvers, MA). Then, the Seattle Mariners chose him in the 30th round of the 2012 MLB draft before signing with the Baltimore Orioles, who selected him in the 14th round of the 2013 MLB amateur draft.

Lefty Felix Doubront makes his first start for the Red Sox and Jonny Gomes gets his second start as a leadoff hitter in Sunday’s game. The Red Sox will be looking for their first win of the Grapefruit League season after losing two straight to the Twins, Friday and Saturday.

Here are the lineups for the Red Sox on Sunday:

Jonny Gomes LF

Dustin Pedroia 2B

David Ortiz DH

Mike Napoli 1B

Xander Bogaerts SS

Will Middlebrooks 3B

David Ross C

Jackie Bradley Jr. CF

Bryce Brentz RF

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Read More: Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Carl Yastrzemski, mike yastrzemski
Sox saving celebration for AL East title 09.20.13 at 12:28 am ET
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John Lackey's complete-game win assured the Sox of their first playoff berth since 2009. (AP)

John Lackey’s complete-game win assured the Sox of their first playoff berth since 2009. (AP)

The last time the Red Sox reached the postseason, John Lackey was pitching against them, in a 2009 ALDS series Lackey’s Angels eventually won. On Thursday, Lackey’s dominant complete-game performance clinched the Sox’ first playoff appearance since that series, although the team celebrated the victory no more exuberantly than they would any other win.

From Sox manager John Farrell through the clubhouse, the team maintained that they won’t celebrate in any extraordinary way until they clinch the AL East.

“We know where we’re at. We know what was pending,” Farrell said. “We still feel like there’s the next step is a more important one than this. We know that we’re in but we know that winning the East, that’s been a stated goal since day one of spring training. That’s getting closer. And I think that will be probably a little bit more the realization of where we’ve come from and where we are at the moment.”

The Sox players echoed Farrell’s sentiments.

“We need to go out there and take care of what we need to take care of,” Jarrod Saltalamacchia said. “Tonight was a big win to get a spot, but we want to win the division and we still want to get that 100th win. We’re going to continue to go out there. Tomorrow is a new day and we’re going to focus on that.”

Dustin Pedroia called the win “a big step,” but repeated the mantra that the division title has been the yearlong goal.

“Our main goal was to try to get in and win the division and win the World Series,” Pedroia said. “We’ll celebrate when we win the division.”

Lackey has pitched in 14 postseason games, all with the Angels, but this fall may have some added significance for him in particular given the injury and performance woes he faced over the last three years in Boston.

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Read More: Baltimore Orioles, john lackey,
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