First baseman Mike Napoli was scratched from the Red Sox lineup before Saturday’s game against the Yankees with a sore left foot.
General manager Ben Cherington said the injury was not serious, but manager John Farrell indicated that Napoli was questionable for the series finale on Sunday night.
Napoli, according to Farrell, has been dealing with plantar fasciitis for “quite some time” and aggravated the injury when he doubled in the ninth inning of Friday’s game.
“So when he came in today, felt like he needed a day down at a minimum,” Farrell said. “This has been something that’s been a maintenance issue for him for a little bit of time here.”
Team orthopedist Dr. Peter Asnis examined Napoli, according to Farrell.
“It wasn’t serious as of an hour ago. But we’ll see how it goes,” Cherington said before the game.
Farrell doesn’t believe the injury has contributed to Napoli’s poor performance at the plate. He is hitting .211 since July 1 with six home runs and 15 RBIs over 149 plate appearances.
“No, I can’t say that has caused his swing to be less aggressive or it’s caused him to not hit from a more powerful base,” the manager said. “It’s been something he’s been dealing with but he has not expressed that as being a reason to why some of the streaks he’s experienced.”
Farrell intended to give Shane Victorino a day off to help with his sore left hamstring. That changed when Napoli was unable to go.
“Just kind of keeping the pulse of how guys are feeling physically and just building in a day when needed. Sometimes that’s not afforded,” Farrell said.
Dustin Pedroia had an eventful 30th birthday. The Red Sox arranged for a video of his son, Dylan, singing “Happy Birthday” to be playing on the scoreboard when he came out of the dugout before batting practice.
Kelli Pedroia also arranged for a special Sasquatch cake to be delivered to the clubhouse. Pedroia is a big fan of the “Finding Bigfoot” show on Animal Planet. Party Favors in Brookline created the cake.
Once the game started, Pedroia didn’t have as much fun. He was 0 for 5 with two strikeouts and fouled a ball off his left ankle in the eighth inning.
He stayed in to finish the at-bat but did not play the field in the ninth.
“He’s sore,” Farrell said. “The foul ball got him just above the ankle on the shin. We’ll check in the morning, but at this point we don’t anticipate [him] missing any time.”
Farrell said X-rays taken at Fenway Park were negative.
“Right now everything points to be being a negative situation. If he comes in [Sunday] with any increased soreness, we’ll take every precaution needed,” Farrell said.
Pedroia limped across the clubhouse after the game but did not speak to reporters.
On June 25, 2010, the second baseman fouled a ball off his left foot and broke the navicular bone. He returned for two games in August before undergoing season-ending surgery.
NESN broadcaster Jerry Remy made his first public comments since the arrest of his son for murder in the stabbing death of his girlfriend on Thursday night. Jared W. Remy pleaded not guilty in the death of Jennifer Martel. He is being held without bail.
“My thoughts and prayers go out to Jenn Martel and her family. Words cannot describe my wife’s and my grief. Son or not, I am at a loss for words articulating my disgust and remorse over this senseless and tragic act. We are heartbroken,” said Remy via Twitter.
Remy did not work Friday night’s game and will not call the six games on the upcoming West Coast trip. His status beyond that is uncertain.
Clay Buchholz threw 65 pitches over four simulated innings in the bullpen, some with teammates Ryan Lavarnway and Brandon Snyder standing at the plate. Bullpen coach Dana Levangie also stood in.
The righthander, out since early June with a shoulder injury, is ready for a simulated game later this week.
“Today was good. More intense today,” Buchholz said. “Everything went good.”
Having batters at the plate helped Buchholz work on his location.
Outside of throwing some balls up and away against lefthanders, he felt like his control was good.
“I got more comfortable the more I threw to hitters,” he said. “Obviously the next step is to get some swings off you and see how that goes. I’m willing to do whatever they want me to do or whatever I have to do to get ready. It feels like it came back pretty quick.”
Farrell said Buchholz would throw a simulated game in San Francisco on Wednesday. The step after that should be a minor league rehabilitation game.
“He’s confident that he’s making steady progress,” Farrell said.
Rolling since recall
Will Middlebrooks has hit safely in all seven games he has played since returning from Pawtucket. He is 10 of 23 (.435) with three RBIs and three walks in that time . . . CC Sabathia, who starts for the Yankees on Sunday night, is 3-5 with a 6.06 ERA in his last 10 starts against the Red Sox, giving up 78 hits over 62⅓ innings. Sabathia gave up seven runs in five innings at Fenway on July 21 . . . Ryan Dempster, who faces Sabathia, is 0-5, 6.98 in seven career starts against the Yankees . . . David Ross started at catcher for Pawtucket on Saturday night and will be activated off the disabled list Monday barring any recurrence of concussion symptoms. That Ross is 1 for 16 in his rehab is not a concern, Farrell said . . . The Sox are 7-4 against the Yankees this season with eight meetings left. In the last 10 seasons, counting the 2004 American League Championship Series, the teams have played 183 games. The Yankees have 92 wins and the Red Sox 91 . . . David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez met in the players’ parking lot after the game and drove away in Ortiz’s SUV . . . Marc Kudisch and Kerry O’Malley presented a robust rendition of the national anthem before the game. They will be in the free concert production of “Kiss Me, Kate” on Aug. 21 at the Hatch Shell . . . The two finalists in the US Amateur — England’s Matt Fitzpatrick and Australia’s Oliver Goss — threw out first pitches after coming over from The County Club.Peter Abraham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.