Red Sox Wrap: Mike Napoli’s Two Homers Power Boston To 8-3 Win Over Angels


BOSTON — The Red Sox followed one of their worst performances of the season Friday with a very energetic and positive effort Saturday against the Los Angeles Angels at Fenway Park.

Boston took the middle game of the teams’ three-game set 8-3. The Red Sox, whose offense has struggled for most of the season, produced 12 hits in the victory.

The Red Sox haven’t been able to garner good pitching and good hitting at the same time too often this season. Boston was on the ball in all facets Saturday, though.

GAME IN A WORD
Liftoff.

Mike Napoli looks primed for a major hot streak. The first baseman entered Saturday with two home runs in his last four games after struggling for much of the season. He built on the progress by launching two more homers off Angels starter C.J. Wilson.

Napoli crushed both of his home runs over the Green Monster. His second homer was a two-run shot in the sixth inning that landed on Lansdowne Street.

IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Napoli launched his second homer of the contest to break a 2-2 tie.

Hanley Ramirez worked a seven-pitch walk to open the bottom of the sixth inning. Wilson rebounded to retire David Ortiz and Xander Bogaerts on a pair of flyouts, but the left-hander hung a 3-1 curveball to Napoli and the suddenly hot slugger knew exactly what to do with it.

Napoli’s two-homer effort marks the 14th multihomer game of his career.

The Angels scored their third run in the eighth inning. But by that point, the Red Sox were in the driver’s seat, thanks in large to Napoli’s big night.

ON THE BUMP
— Steven Wright survived and conquered.

Wright allowed two runs on three hits (two doubles) in the first inning. He then allowed only one hit and one walk the rest of the way while keeping the Angels off the scoreboard.

Wright retired 18 of the final 20 hitters he faced. The knuckleballer struck out two and threw 75 pitches (49 strikes) over 6 1/3 solid innings.

It was Wright’s second start since joining the rotation when the Red Sox placed Justin Masterson on the 15-day disabled list. He absolutely deserves a third start, as the 30-year-old is taking care of business.

— Junichi Tazawa fought his way through the eighth inning.

Tazawa surrendered a run on a double and a single. He minimized the damage by retiring Albert Pujols on a softly hit ground ball to third base and punching out Kole Calhoun.

— Koji Uehara finished things off with a scoreless ninth inning.

IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Napoli is nearing the Mendoza Line. He’s hitting .193 following his notable night against the Halos.

— Mookie Betts didn’t start the game, but he sure made an impact. Betts, like Napoli, has been stringing together some better at-bats of late after a rough patch during Boston’s recent road trip.

Betts pinch-hit for Shane Victorino in the third inning after Victorino tweaked his injured left calf in the top of the frame. The 22-year-old promptly knocked in a run with an RBI single into left field.

Betts reached on an error and scored a run in the seventh inning. He singled home another run in the eighth.

— Bogaerts helped justify his jump in the Red Sox’s order by singling home two runs in the seventh inning to extend Boston’s lead to 6-2.

Blake Swihart walked, Betts reached on an awful error by Calhoun in right field and Ramirez singled into left field to set the table for Bogaerts, who singled on an 0-2 pitch.

— Ramirez reached base three times, which is very encouraging given how poorly he’s swung the bat this month.

Ramirez, who grounded into a double play in the first inning, singled twice and walked once.

— Ortiz went 0-for-4 and left seven men on base.

— Rusney Castillo went 1-for-4 with an infield single in his second game of the season.

— Swihart and Brock Holt executed a perfect hit-and-run in the eighth inning. Holt scored all the way from first base on a ground-ball single that ended up in shallow right-center field.

Holt was off with the pitch and Swihart shot a grounder past second baseman Johnny Giavotella. Calhoun jogged in to pick it up and was surprised to see Holt motoring around third base. Holt dived in ahead of Calhoun’s throw home while Swihart advanced to second base.

A hustle play like that is difficult to replicate. However, it’s exactly the type of stuff the Red Sox need right now to break through.

TWEET OF THE GAME
Eat. Sleep. Victorino injury. Repeat.

UP NEXT
The Red Sox and Angels will wrap up their three-game series with a Sunday afternoon affair. Two southpaws — Wade Miley and Hector Santiago — are scheduled to go toe-to-toe.

Boston will head out on the road after Sunday’s series finale. The Sox will play three games against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field before traveling to Arlington for a four-game date with the Texas Rangers.

Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images

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