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Sports

March 29, 2014

Napoli homers in Boston's 4-0 win over Twins

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Mike Napoli hit a solo homer, his fourth of the spring, to help the Boston Red Sox defeat the Minnesota Twins 4-0 on Friday.

The Red Sox gave Grady Sizemore the day off after telling the oft-injured three-time All-Star that he will be their starting center field on opening day. He has had seven operations since 2009 and has not played since 2011. He is hitting .333 (13 for 39) with one home run and two RBIs, and he is expected to play Saturday in Boston’s spring finale, also against Minnesota.

“He’s going to be a good addition,” Napoli said of Sizemore. “He’s like everyone else in this clubhouse. He works hard. He loves the game. He fits in well here. We expect him to go out there and play good baseball.”

Napoli homered off of Twins starter Phil Hughes, and the ball landed on the grass-covered berm in left field.

“I got behind him a little bit,” Hughes said. “He put his head down and hit it. It’s one of those things. It’s spring training.”

STARTING TIME

Red Sox: Felix Doubront made the most of his final spring training start, striking out seven and giving up two walks and seven hits in five innings. He lowered his spring ERA from 9.64 to 7.11 in five appearances.

“I have met my goals,” Doubront said. “I have the mentality set to start the season. It was a better start than the last one. In spring training, I figured out a lot of things.”

Red Sox manager John Farrell said he noticed the improvement.

“I thought he used his cutter a little bit more today than he has pretty much all spring,” Farrell said. “We saw some pitching power. It was a good way to finish camp.”

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