Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 5/17/13
Only Mike Napoli, Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury have played in all 41 games this year for the Red Sox, but manager John Farrell will give his first baseman a break when the team opens a three-game set in Minnesota. Napoli was one of the most productive hitters in all of baseball in the month of April, but he has struggled at the plate in recent games. Though he fell a triple short of the cycle last Sunday in Toronto, the slugger has gone hitless in four of his last six games — a combined 4-for-22. Mike Carp will start at first in his place Friday night against the Twins. Carp has played sparingly this season, appearing in just 20 games, but he has been very productive. In his first year in Boston, Carp is hitting .342 with a 1.127 OPS. Both marks would lead the team had he enough at-bats to qualify. The batting order will see a bit of a shake-up, as well, as third baseman Will Middlebrooks will hit in Napoli’s usual No. 5 slot. Middlebrooks, who provided the game-winning hit with a three-run double in the ninth inning Thursday night in Tampa Bay, has spent much of the year near the bottom of the order as he struggles to find his stroke. Check out the full lineups for both teams below. Boston Red Sox (24-17) Jacoby Ellsbury, CF Daniel Nava, RF Dustin Pedroia, 2B David Ortiz, DH Will Middlebrooks, 3B Stephen Drew, SS Jonny Gomes, LF Mike Carp, 1B Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C Clay Buchholz, RHP Minnesota Twins (18-19) Brian Dozier, 2B Chris Parmelee, RF Josh Willingham, DH Justin Morneau, 1B Ryan Doumit, C Oswaldo Arcia, LF Trevor Plouffe, 3B Aaron Hicks, CF Pedro Florimon, SS Vance Worley, RHP

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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