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Napoli will return to first base in Game 3

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  October 14, 2013 08:34 PM

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DETROIT — John Farrell said Mike Napoli would be back at first base for Game 3 of the ALCS. He also suggested that Jonny Gomes could start in left field.

Napoli is an obvious choice to return. He is 7 of 23 against Verlander with a home run, five walks and only five strikeouts. Mike Carp, who started Game 2 at first base, is 0 for 5 in his career against Verlander.

Napoli is 2 for 17 in the postseason with eight strikeouts but said he remains confident at the plate.

“I feel fine and I felt fine [Sunday], too. I want to get out there and compete,” Napoli said. “It’s the postseason. The spotlight is on every single little thing that you do. I feel good at the plate. I feel like I’ve just been missing some pitches.”

Gomes is 0 for 9 against Verlander with three walks and three strikeouts. Daniel Nava is 1 for 3 with a double. But Farrell believes in the intangibles Gomes adds to the mix.

“I think the one thing that might fly under the radar with Jonny is he's a smart player,” Farrell said. “He can bring an overall personality to a team when he's in the lineup versus when he's in the dugout. These are the things at this point in time in the year I think you have to consider strongly with the attitude and the makeup that we present on the field.”

Also:

• Lance Parrish, a member of Detroit’s 1984 World Series champions, will throw out the first pitch on Tuesday. Motown legends The Four Tops will perform the national anthem.

• Ortiz’s grand slam on Sunday was the first time in postseason play that four pitchers were charged with a run on the same play. It last happened in the regular season on Oct. 2, 3004 when Steve Finley of the Dodgers hit a walk-off grand slam against the Giants off the fourth pitcher of the inning, Wayne Franklin. The Dodgers scored seven runs in the ninth inning of that game. ... It was the fourth postseason grand slam for the Red Sox, the first since J.D. Drew in the 2007 ALCS. Johnny Damon (2004 ALCS) and Troy O’Leary (1999 Division Series) had the others. ... Ortiz now has three career postseason games with at least four RBIs. Only Yogi Berra and Jim Thome have also done that. Ortiz’s 54 career postseason RBIs are second along active players. Derek Jeter of the Yankees has 61. ... It also was only the third game-tying grand slam in postseason history. Ron Cey of the Dodgers had one against the Phillies and Steve Carlton in the 1977 NLCS. Vladimir Guerrero did it against the Red Sox and Mike Timlin in a Division Series game in 2004.

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