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Napoli takes swings against Buchholz


FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Mike Napoli got an ideal tune-up for his upcoming Grapefruit League debut by digging into the batters' box against Clay Buchholz on Tuesday morning.

Buchholz probably has the best pure stuff of any pitcher on the Red Sox. Napoli will play in his first game on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. ET on MLB.TV at home against the Pirates.

For Buchholz, it was also a key day of preparation. Slowed by a right hamstring during the early portion of camp, Buchholz will make his debut on Saturday afternoon at 1:05 against the Twins.

The righty threw 40 pitches over two simulated innings.

"It felt more comfortable. I've always felt comfortable since we've been throwing off a mound out of the windup," Buchholz said. "Out of the stretch, I started to find a balance point toward the end. I threw 10 extra pitches to get a good feel for it. The last 10 I threw, I was staying on line and able to get to a balance point without jumping to home plate. I felt really good there at the end."

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