Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 4/22/13
Red Sox manager John Farrell knew that Mike Napoli‘s uppercut, right-handed swing would fit in perfectly in Fenway Park’s unique dimensions when he brought in the former Texas Ranger over the winter. But it’s doubtful that even Farrell could have predicted just how productive his new first baseman has been. After a five-RBI effort Monday night, Napoli has now driven in a major-league high 25 runs this season, putting him on pace to shatter his career high of 75 set in 2011. And with the return of David Ortiz, the pleasantly surprising power of Daniel Nava and signs that Will Middlebrooks — who homered Monday for the first time since April 7 — may finally be emerging from his near-month-long slump, this year’s roster has a chance to become the best power-hitting club Boston has seen since the days of Manny Ramirez. “The last 10 days, his swing has become much more compact,” Farrell said of Napoli. “With David hitting in front of him, I’m not going to say that makes opposing pitcher pitch differently to him, but he feels very comfortable in this ballpark. That’s proven over time. The fact that we’re here 19 games into the season and he has 25 RBIs, he’s doing exactly what we had hoped he would do. It’s great to see that production in the middle of the order. … I don’t know if you can pitch [against] him consistently.” The task will be getting that production straight through the heart of the order on a given night, something the Sox exemplified in a 9-6 win over Oakland on Monday. Boston’s No. 4 through No. 7 hitters — Ortiz, Napoli, Nava and Middlebrooks — combined to reach base nine times, total four extra-base hits (including two home runs) and score seven of the team’s nine runs. At the heart of that production was Napoli, who, having slid down to the No. 5 slot in the order with Ortiz back in the lineup, drove in Big Papi with a double for the team’s first run, was hit by a pitch and scored in the fourth inning, and provided the eventual nail in the coffin with his fourth career grand slam one inning later. “[It was a] good offensive night,” Farrell said. “We knew [A's starter A.J.] Griffin was going to come in with a high strike percentage. I thought our guys did a great job of going early in the count and squaring him up. The five-run fifth, obviously highlighted by the grand slam, was key for us, and it’s good to see Will come up in a big situation with a three-run homer.” While a team clearly cannot win games on power alone — and the Red Sox were certainly buoyed by a flawed, yet solid performance by starter Felix Doubront — the top performers need to produce as such for a team to be successful. A look at the other side of Monday’s scoresheet illustrates that exact point. While Boston’s heavy hitters all came through with solid efforts, the A’s best bats were largely silent. Coco Crisp, the team leader in homers, total bases and slugging percentage, and Jed Lowrie, who leads Oakland in every other significant offensive category, combined to go 0-for-8 with a pair of walks, one run scored and zero RBIs. The difference was evident on the field, and it showed on the scoreboard, as well.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

White Sox's Chris Sale sent home 'due to a clubhouse incident'

Ezekiel Elliott: ‘Evil NEVER prevails’

Orioles, Padres reportedly talking trades of Melvin Upton, Cashner

Le’Veon Bell reportedly missed ‘several’ drug tests

Report: Islanders looking at locations to build new arena

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Top five takeaways from this year's NBA Summer League

NCAA rules that hanging out with hip-hop star Drake is violation

WATCH: Justin Bieber arm wrestle Sixers center Joel Embiid

RUMOR: Celtics sign Green, Zeller and two others to contract deals

Kevin Durant Thunder jerseys going for less than 50 cents in OKC

Why are Saints holding out on contract talks with Drew Brees?

Solo not taking any chances with Zika virus while in Rio

Rays reportedly demanding Profar in pitching deal with Rangers

Facebook doesn’t know the difference between Liverpool and Arsenal

Report: Teams asked about Wade Davis, asking price very high

Aussie Rules Football player accidentally kicks, breaks own leg

Former Arkansas football assistant trolls Bobby Petrino on social media

Could Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw's injury hinder trade talks?

Spurs strike a new deal with NBA stalwart Manu Ginobli

George makes return to Team USA following leg injury

Why the Clippers shouldn't break up their big three

White Sox pay homage to Bo Jackson’s bat-breaking skills with bobblehead

Orioles affiliate pay tribute to David Bowie on their jerseys

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

WATCH: Pop & Timmy have a guys' night out

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker