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Mike Napoli returns to Boston, undergoes tests

Several other Red Sox players are sick, so perhaps Mike Napoli’s illness is connected to that.

J. Meric/Getty Images

Several other Red Sox players are sick, so perhaps Mike Napoli’s illness is connected to that.

BALTIMORE — Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli was sent back to Boston on Saturday for an examination and has what the team is calling a “general illness.”

Sox medical director Larry Ronan, an internist, ran some tests on Napoli, who left Thursday’s game in the third inning with dizziness and nausea and has not played since.

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“He’s got some preliminary tests that have been completed. I don’t have the results of those,” manager John Farrell said. “We’re hopeful to continue to see what’s the cause of this.”

Napoli has symptoms that are similar to a concussion, but the Red Sox do not believe that is the case after consulting with Michael Collins, a brain trauma specialist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Collins was the doctor who treated Stephen Drew and David Ross when they had concussions earlier this season.

“There’s a pretty high level of confidence that he’s not dealing with anything concussion related,” Farrell said.

Several other Red Sox players are sick, so perhaps Napoli’s illness is connected to that. But his symptoms have lingered and have been more severe.

“We want to be sure that he’s in a safe place and we can get to the bottom of it,” Farrell said.

Mike Carp replaced Napoli on Thursday and has started at first base the two games since.

The Red Sox have had Will Middlebrooks taking grounders at first base to increase their depth at the position.

Farrell said he had no plans to use David Ortiz at first base. Ortiz played a game at first base in Philadelphia on May 30, but Farrell only wants to use him in the field for interleague road games.

Buchholz delayed

Clay Buchholz has once again been pushed back because of a sore trapezius on his right side. The righthander told the Sox he does not feel ready to throw in the bullpen on Sunday and as a result will not start on Tuesday.

“It’s getting better every day,” Buchholz said. “I’m sort of at a point right now where if I was to get off a mound, that I would regress. I haven’t really cut loose yet playing catch. I don’t want to take a step back. I want to get to a point where I’m comfortable cutting loose . . . Trying to be as smart as I can with it.”

Buchholz is not scheduled to throw off a mound at this point.

“It’s going to go on the way I feel. That’s what I told them. There’s no need to schedule anything,” he said. “Whenever I feel I’m ready to get off the mound, I’ll get off the mound.”

Buchholz last pitched on June 8. The next step could be to place him on the disabled list retroactively to June 9.

“We’re adjusting as we go here,” Farrell said.

Buchholz hopes to avoid the DL. But he understands that the team could have to make a move. That decision will probably come Tuesday.

Felix Doubront will start one of the games of Tuesday’s doubleheader. Ryan Dempster would then start on Wednesday.

Buchholz has made just one start since June 2. The longer he stays out, the more likely it becomes that he will need a rehab assignment before he returns to the majors.

Buchholz is 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA.

Speedy Papi

Ortiz had his second triple of the season when he hammered a ball to center field in the second inning that bounced off the wall.

Ortiz turned at second base and made it into third standing up. Ortiz had a career-high three triples in 2004.This is the first season since 2006 that he has had more than one.

Ortiz is one of 15 big leaguers with at least two triples and two steals of third base this season.

Energetic Gomes

Left fielder Jonny Gomes started against a righthanded pitcher for the first time since May 17.

Gomes had faced Freddy Garcia twice before and had a sacrifice bunt and home run. But what it really came down to was a gut feeling by Farrell.

“Wanted to get some energy in the lineup,” the manager said. “Just felt like his energy was needed in a day game after a night game.”

Gomes was 2 for 3 against Garcia.He singled in the fourth inning and scored from first on a double by Drew, sliding headfirst over the plate to give the Sox the lead. He then homered to center in the sixth inning for what proved to be the winning run.

“I tried to create a spark for this team. That’s a bonus,” Gomes said. “Points are tough to come by against this team. If I can score from first on a ball down the line with two outs, just going hard all the way.”

Iglesias plays small ball

Jose Iglesias had an infield single in the third inning, his 12th of the season. He was 1 for 3 with a walk, raising his on-base percentage to .495. Iglesias nearly had another infield hit when he grounded a ball behind the bag at third base in the fourth inning. But he stumbled coming out of the box. Iglesias has hit safely in 16 consecutive games, tying Miami’s Marcell Ozuna for the longest streak for a rookie this season. Iglesias is hitting .447. Farrell said last week that he planned to start Iglesias at least three times a week. But that may not be enough based on his production. “I don’t know that we’re at that point today. But he’s certainly making a strong case for it,” Farrell said . . . Jon Lester, who starts on Sunday, is 14-1 with a 2.63 ERA in 21 career starts against the Orioles. That includes a 7-0 record and 2.52 ERA in 10 starts at Camden Yards. The lefthander has been struggling of late, going 0-3 with a 6.90 ERA in his last five starts. . . . MannyMachado, Baltimore’s 20-year-old third baseman, extended his hitting streak to 13 games with an RBI double in the first inning.

Peter Abraham can be reached at pabraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.
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