Carp gets start at first as Napoli gets break

Carp gets start at first as Napoli gets break

DETROIT -- Mike Carp, who hadn't played in six days because of right hamstring tightness, started Saturday night's game at first base. Mike Napoli, who was sidelined last weekend by an illness, got the night off.

Red Sox manager John Farrell said this was simply a day off for Napoli.

"It is, yeah," Farrell said. "Mike Carp is ready to go, physically, after the hamstring cramping he had down in Baltimore. Matchup, [it gives us] another left-hander in there [against Max Scherzer]. We're not sure how much they'll have left-handed relief available for them."

Carp has done a fine job in a bench role this season, hitting .324 with eight homers and 25 RBIs in just 105 at-bats entering play Saturday.

Given that Daniel Nava has been slumping of late and could be in need of some rest, that could give Carp some more opportunities.

Nava entered Saturday with just one hit in his last 20 at-bats.

Anything Farrell has seen with Nava?

"A swing getting a little bit long," Farrell said. "This is probably the most consecutive games played at this level for quite a while, and we're mindful of that. We have to pick spots when needed. That's what's been the beauty of this bench. We've been able to rotate guys in and out and get some regular work in a number of different spots. That might be something that's coming as well with Daniel."

Ian Browne is a reporter for 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.