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Papi back at first base as Napoli rests foot

Papi back at first base as Napoli rests foot

DENVER -- The Red Sox hope they play two or three more games this season under National League rules because that would mean they made the World Series. But Wednesday marked their final Interleague game of the regular season.

And for the second night in a row, David Ortiz broke out his mitt and played first base, while Mike Napoli was not in the lineup. Napoli hasn't started in the four games since the Red Sox clinched the American League East title.

Napoli has been dealing with plantar fasciitis for much of the second half of the season.

After going on a tear through the first half of September, Napoli has hit a mini rut of late, going 1-for-13.

Manager John Farrell has found of late that Napoli has responded well to rest.

"He's available to pinch-hit here tonight. He'll likely be back at first base Friday, when we get to Baltimore," Farrell said. "We're hopeful that it has the same results the last break provided. He came back and swung the bat like he did for the first five or six weeks of the season. When he's in those stretches, we're a completely different offensive team. With Jacoby at the top and Mike in the middle of it, it creates a more powerful lineup, there's no doubt."

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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