Red Sox Notes: Mike Napoli Raking Since Returning From Disabled List


Mike NapoliBOSTON — The Boston Red Sox have been all over the spectrum this season. They landed on the positive end Friday at Fenway Park.

The Red Sox’s offense had a good showing en route to a 10-3 win over the Cleveland Indians. Boston now has won three of its last four games and four of its last six following a five-game losing streak during the club’s recent nine-game road trip.

John Lackey earned his eighth win of the season. Jon Lester earned the victory in Thursday’s series opener, so the Red Sox’s most reliable workhorses again are stepping up when they need to.

Let’s go over what else transpired Friday.

— Lackey gave the Red Sox a quality outing, albeit one that lacked pizzazz.

Lackey gave up three earned runs on seven hits over 6 2/3 innings. He struck out five, walked one and threw 110 pitches (72 strikes).

The most impressive aspect of Lackey’s start was his ability to make adjustments after the Indians generated some offense in the second and third innings.

“They had a good plan against him. Then he started to use his fastball a little bit more in some of those counts he was otherwise using his curveball,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said after the game. “(He) sped them up to respond to the velocity. I think he and (catcher) A.J. Pierzynski recognized that. To their credit, they were able to adapt on the fly. That’s the vet presence John Lackey is.”

Lackey owns a 2.00 ERA (eight earned runs in 36 innings) over his last five starts.

— Justin Masterson, who held the Red Sox scoreless over seven innings last Monday, was erratic for the Indians. He was charged with five earned runs on three hits and four walks over two-plus innings of work.

Masterson’s velocity again was down. The right-hander, who once threw 93-95 mph consistently, was around 88-91 mph. The red flags continue to wave.

— The Red Sox’s 10 runs were a season-high and the team’s most in a game since Sept. 27, 2013.

The Red Sox had seven 10-run games at this point last season.

A.J. Pierzynski, Mike Napoli and Dustin Pedroia each smacked a two-run double. Daniel Nava hit an RBI double, Jackie Bradley Jr. struck an RBI triple and Xander Bogaerts capped the scoring with a solo homer.

— David Ortiz was the only player in the Red Sox’s starting lineup without a hit, yet he walked three times and scored a run.

— Nava is starting to look like last year’s version of himself.

Nava has hit safely in six of his last seven games. He’s hitting .423 (11-for-26) over his last eight games since being recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on June 2.

“He looks confident in the box, he’s relaxed, he’s in a better position in these last eight or 10 games he’s been back with us,” Farrell said. “He gets an RBI double from the right side of the plate, which there’s been limited exposure to that side, and I think it just speaks to the confidence with which he’s swinging the bat right now.”

— Napoli has been raking since returning from the disabled list Sunday.

Napoli, who went 2-for-3, is hitting .381 (8-for-21) in six games since returning.

— Stephen Drew’s planned workout at Fenway Park was cut short because of the rainy pregame conditions. He’ll go through a full day of baseball activities Saturday, after which he’ll be reevaluated.

— Pawtucket’s game was postponed.

That means Clay Buchholz, who was expected to make his first rehab start Friday, will start Game 1 of Saturday’s doubleheader. Will Middlebrooks will DH for the PawSox on Saturday.

— Pedroia’s wife, Kelli, gave birth to the couple’s third son, Brooks. The proud father marked the occasion by reaching base three times and playing tremendous defense.

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