I've said it before and I'll say it again: It's so damn good to see Mike Napoli in a Red Sox uniform.
Napoli crushed a grand slam into the Monster seats in the fifth that helped push the Sox past the A's with a 9-6 victory.
After the A's got to Felix Doubront in the top of the second for a couple of runs, Napoli helped get the Sox back into the game. He followed up David Ortiz's double with a double of his own to cut the Athletics lead to 2-1.
Then in the fourth, Will Middlebrooks took A.J. Griffin's offering to the Monster seats for a three run home run to help give the Sox a 4-2 lead. It was Middlebrook's only hit of the night but it was his first home run since he went off in Toronto so at least he's getting his power swing back in the middle of his funk.
The Sox would get a little lucky in the fifth. After a Shane Victorino single to start the inning, Dustin Pedroia grounded to third base but Andy Parrino couldn't handle Josh Donaldson's throw at second and couldn't even get the force out at second. Napoli would make the A's pay later in the inning as he gets his 4th homer of the year to make it a 8-4 Red Sox lead. Salty would make it a 9-4 game when he got an RBI double later in the inning but let's get back to Napoli He's driven in 17 RBIs in the last nine games and has a Major League leading 25 RBIs. Good thing the hip issue didn't scare the Sox off entirely.
It looked like it was all said and done but the bullpen looked a little shaky. After Felix Doubront, went 6 2/3 decent innings (3 ER, 8 SO, 5BB) Clayton Mortensen had himself an off night as he couldn't locate his pitches and the A's took full advantage. After Mortensen gave up a walk & hit a guy, Donaldson & old pal Josh Reddick would hit back to back doubles to make it a 9-6 game. Eventually Junichi Tazawa would come in to end the inning before any more damage would happen. Andrew Bailey came out for his third straight game and closed the door for the W.
The only bad news that came out tonight is that Dustin Pedroia went 0-for-5 and it was the first game that he didn't get on base. All in all it was a very solid win for the Sox and it was good to see the bats working again after a little struggle in the day-night doubleheader.