Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 8/14/13
5:50 p.m.: Mike Napoli has been bad — to put it lightly — of late. Entering Wednesday’s game in Toronto, the slugger is 0-for-12 with nine strikeouts over his last three games. Napoli had already been dropped to sixth in the order after batting fifth most of the season, and he’ll now be dropped to seventh. Napoli will bat seventh Wednesday as Jonny Gomes bats fifth and Stephen Drew bats sixth. “We moved him down to the seven hole today, and we wanted him to know that we recognize he’s grinding and he’s going through a stretch where things haven’t gone his way,” manager John Farrell said Wednesday on WEEI’s Salk & Holley. “We haven’t lost confidence in him, and yet we feel like there have been opportunities that have presented themselves where he’s come up in some big spots.” Wednesday’s complete lineups are below. Red Sox (72-49) Jacoby Ellsbury, CF Shane Victorino, RF Dustin Pedroia, 2B David Ortiz, DH Jonny Gomes, LF Stephen Drew, SS Mike Napoli, 1B Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C Will Middlebrooks, 3B Jon Lester, LHP (10-7, 4.37 ERA) Blue Jays (54-65) Jose Reyes, SS Rajai Davis, CF Jose Bautista, RF Edwin Encarnacion, 1B Brett Lawrie, 3B Mark DeRosa, DH J.P. Arencibia, C Kevin Pillar, LF Munenori Kawasaki, 2B Esmil Rogers, RHP (3-7, 5.12 ERA) 8 a.m. ET: The Red Sox’ love for late-inning heroics continued Tuesday in Toronto. The Red Sox grabbed a 4-2 lead in the top of the 11th inning when Shane Victorino singled into center field with two outs. Koji Uehara then shut the door, continuing an impressive stretch of performances by the Red Sox closer. Boston’s win on Tuesday wasn’t a walk-off, but the Red Sox have had their share of dramatic victories on the road as well. Of the Red Sox’ 72 wins this season, 19 have come in their final at-bat. That’s 26 percent of their total victories, which is amazing. The Red Sox, who are tied with the Royals for tops in the AL with eight extra-inning wins, have 28 come-from-behind wins this season. In fact, seven of their last nine victories dating back to July 30 have been of the come-from-behind variety. The optimist will look at these wins and say that there’s something special brewing in the Red Sox’ clubhouse, while the pessimist will say that such hard-fought wins might eventually catch up to Boston. In any event, it’s clear that it’s been an eventful season, and we shouldn’t expect anything less in Boston’s final 41 games. The Red Sox will take on the Blue Jays in Game No. 122 on Wednesday. Jon Lester will go up against Esmil Rogers, and the first pitch is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. As always, tune in and keep it right here with NESN.com. Filed under: Boston Red Sox, Headlines, Live Blog, Ricky Doyle, Toronto Blue Jays
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