BOSTON — Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli has a knack for big home runs.
Napoli launched a home run in the sixth inning of Saturday’s 2-1 win over the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park. The blast was big in the sense that it propelled Boston to victory, but it also was big in that there was zero doubt it was going to leave the yard.
Napoli’s sixth-inning homer off Royals starter Danny Duffy marked the slugger’s 11th long ball of the season. Each of his last three home runs have put the Red Sox ahead, and three of his last five have provided Boston’s deciding run in the sixth inning or later.
“A big home run tonight obviously the difference in this one. But he’s taking his base hits up the middle and the other way,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said after Saturday’s win. “We’ve talked a lot about his two-strike approach, where he’s cut down his swing a little bit in some of those situations. And (he’s) doing a great job of getting on base overall.”
Napoli has reached base in 21 of his last 22 games since June 22. He’s hitting .303 (23-for-76) with a .436 on-base percentage in that span.