5/4/2014 8:30 P.M. ET
Red Sox give Napoli some needed rest
By Quinn Roberts / MLB.com
BOSTON -- A constant in the middle of the Red Sox's order this season, Mike Napoli got a much needed breather for Sunday's game against the A's.
It marked just the third time this season that Napoli wasn't in the starting lineup. He's still dealing with discomfort after dislocating his left ring finger on April 15 against the White Sox.
"He's still trying to get over some of the things he's been banged up with, so with today and then tomorrow's off-day, hopefully we can get further ahead of it," said Red Sox manager John Farrell.
With Napoli out of the lineup, Mike Carp hit in the No. 4 spot and played first base, while catcher A.J. Pierzynski found himself in the five hole.
"With Mike getting a day off in the four hole, you look to matchup -- and we anticipate the usage of their bullpen," Farrell said. "It is maybe some forward thinking on our part with situations that might come along. Those factors are heavily weighed."
Even though Napoli continues to deal with the injury, getting his finger taped after every at-bat, he's still maintained a high level of consistency.
Napoli has been reached base in a career-high 26 straight games, which is the second-longest streak in the Majors.
"It speaks to his pain threshold, which is obviously high," Farrell said. "The one thing that is extremely noticeable is his two-strike approach. He's cut down his swing and stayed under control, without sacrificing too much power. It has translated into the on-base [percentage] and the overall average."
Napoli did enter the game as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning of Sunday's 3-2 loss, but did not have an at-bat.
Mujica day to day with oblique injury
BOSTON -- Right-hander Edward Mujica is day to day after injuring his oblique while warming up in the bullpen during Saturday's 6-3 win over the A's.
Red Sox manager John Farrell said on Sunday morning Mujica is likely unavailable for the series finale against Oakland.
"This isn't a DL situation as a result of the exam this morning," Farrell said. "He'll continue to receive treatment before we open up with Cincinnati on Tuesday."
Mujica said he threw about 15 fastballs as he warmed up in the bullpen, but felt discomfort on the first changeup he threw.
The Red Sox put the right-hander through a series of function tests on Sunday that focused on his range of motion.
"You have to do this before you put a ball in his hands," Farrell said. "That is the progression he is going through."
After signing a two-year, $9.5 million contract this offseason, Mujica has struggled this season. He's 1-1 with a 9.00 ERA in 11 appearances, allowing 10 runs in 10 innings of work.
• The Red Sox's starting rotation went 3-1 with a 2.08 ERA in their last turn, with quality starts in all five games.
• Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia has reached base safely 35 times in 17 games since returning to the starting lineup on April 16 after a wrist injury. Only Tampa Bay's James Loney (36) has reached base more times over that span.
• Red Sox outfielder Grady Sizemore has hit .313 in 47 career games against Oakland, his best average against any American League team. He has the longest active on-base streak in the Majors against the A's at 25 games.
Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.