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Red Sox give Papi a rare extended break

Red Sox give Papi a rare extended break

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LOS ANGELES -- Though the Red Sox would rather play under American League rules and not be a man short in their starting lineup, manager John Farrell is trying to turn the situation into a positive.

David Ortiz was out of the lineup for the second consecutive game Sunday, this time against lefty Chris Capuano.

Mike Napoli, who belted three hits on Saturday in his first start in eight days, was back in there at first.

Given Ortiz's age (37) and importance to the team, the rest probably came at a good time as the Red Sox gear up for the stretch run.

"I looked at this portion of the schedule this trip through the National League parks as a chance to get as many of our position players a number of days of rest, David being one of them," Farrell said. "Obviously, he was available yesterday, and he's available today. Mike coming off the week in which he was getting over the foot thing still allowed him to regroup."

Shortstop Stephen Drew also got a blow Sunday, as top prospect Xander Bogaerts made his second Major League start.

"Going forward, our main guys are going to be leaned on daily as we get through the rest of the schedule," said Farrell. "There was a chance to balance that out through this trip."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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