Napoli Grand Slam helps Red Sox defeat A’s
After losing both games in Sunday’s doubleheader against the Kansas City Royals, the Red Sox were looking to get back on the winning side of the score, and that’s just what they did. The Sox beat the Oakland Athletics 9-6 and remain in first place in the AL East.
No one can deny that the brightest part of the game was Mike Napoli‘s Grand Slam in the fifth. Bases loaded, no outs…it was the perfect set up.
“He’s a very good hitter,” said manager John Farrell. “He’s got a long track record of extra-base and RBI production, but what he’s done in this ballpark over the course of his career, those things are beacons when you look to select a player, and he’s a very good fit here.”
“It was an exciting moment,” Napoli said. “I was down, 0-1. I was just trying to drive something, get a sac fly, just put a ball in the air out there. I just got a pitch to drive, and I hit a grand slam.”
Another bright spot was Will Middlebrooks‘ three run homer.
“I felt good, I hit the ball solid. I’m still not where I want to be, but I felt like I put some better swings on balls today and stuck to my approach throughout the game,” said Middlebrooks.
Lastly, Shane Victorino‘s running catch in right field changed the whole game.
The A’s had come back to make a game of it in the eighth, scoring three runs. If Victorino didn’t make the catch, it would have been a whole different ball game. The catch robbed Eric Sogard of a two-run double, which was very fortunate for the Sox.
“It was a great catch,” said catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. “That was a game-changer.”
Dustin Pedroia did not have a good night. He went 0-5 in the night, breaking his “getting-on-bases” streak that he had for 18 games.
Other than that, there weren’t many downers on the Red Sox side of the game.
The Red Sox honored the Watertown polic officers that were in a gunfight with the suspects of the Boston Marathon bombings late Thursday night. They were introduced and stood on top of Boston’s dugout after the fourth inning.
The Red Sox will play the Oakland Athletics again tonight at 6:35 p.m. in Boston. You can catch all the action on NESN. Alfredo Aceves will make his third start of the season for the Sox. Right-hander Bartolo Colon will start for Oakland.