Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 5/3/13
Mike Napoli played a major role as the Texas Rangers won an AL championship in 2011 and appeared in the playoffs in each of his two seasons. When he sought a multiyear deal in free agency, though, the team wasn't prepared to commit given his injury history. The Boston Red Sox took a chance on him, and that risk has paid off so far. Napoli faces his former team for the first time as Boston visits Texas in the opener of a three-game series Friday night. After batting .275 with 54 homers and 131 RBIs in 221 regular-season games with the Rangers, Napoli agreed to a three-year, 39 million contract with the Red Sox during the offseason. During his physical, though, a hip issue was discovered and he signed a one-year deal with a 5 million base salary and incentives that could make the total value of the deal reach up to 13 million. Napoli battled injuries and missed 103 games while with Texas, though he hasn't missed a single contest this season. He's hitting .283 with team highs of six homers and 31 RBIs after going 1 for 5 in Thursday's 3-1 victory over Toronto. Boston (20-8), off to its best start since opening 20-7 in 2002, has won seven of eight and scored fewer than six runs for the first time in that stretch Thursday. Napoli is 3 for 6 with a homer in his career off former teammate Derek Holland, who seeks his fifth straight victory over the Red Sox. Holland (1-2, 3.38 ERA) posted a 1.64 ERA over his first three starts, but he allowed six runs in 5 2-3 innings of Texas' 7-6 win over the Los Angeles Angels on April 22. He pitched better Saturday by allowing three earned runs and five hits in seven innings, though he suffered a 7-2 loss at Minnesota. The left-hander has been stellar when facing the Red Sox recently, winning each of his last four starts against them while posting a 2.22 ERA. Holland allowed three runs and struck out seven in 7 2-3 innings of a 5-3 victory in the latest matchup July 25. Texas (17-11) has dropped four of five after falling 3-1 to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday, scoring two or fewer runs in each defeat. The lone run in its last contest came on a second-inning homer from Adrian Beltre, who hit .321 with 28 homers and 102 RBIs for Boston in 2010. Beltre, hitting .215, is 3 for 24 over his last six games, with each hit being a home run. His only hit in his last 12 at-bats versus the Red Sox left the ballpark. "He's going to be the run producer," manager Ron Washington said. "What you see now, you won't see through the season." Felix Doubront (3-0, 4.24) is scheduled to take the mound looking to help Boston win for the third time in 10 meetings with Texas. Doubront has won his last three starts after giving up three runs and four hits while striking out eight in 6 2-3 innings of Saturday's 8-4 win over Houston. He walked three, threw a wild pitch and allowed two runs in the first inning before settling down. "I'm just waiting for that moment that I can put it all together to get more efficient," Doubront said. The left-hander hasn't been very good against Texas, though, going 0-2 with a 10.32 ERA in two starts and three relief appearances. He allowed six runs and eight hits in five innings of a 9-1 loss in his most recent start against the Rangers on July 23.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Details emerge on Brady's injury: 'Right thumb bent back badly'

Roy Halladay autopsy shows he had mix of drugs in system

Report: Indians, Orioles had discussed Manny Machado trade

Report: Jets WR threatened to sexually assault cop's wife

Report: Cavs seeking trades for DeAndre Jordan, George Hill

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Tom Brady has 'just a cut' near knuckle, needed stitches

NFL determines Raiders complied with Rooney Rule

Report: Todd Haley wants to be Cardinals’ offensive coordinator

Kemba Walker would be ‘devastated’ if Hornets trade him

Foles ‘wanted to retire’ after spending a year with Fisher

New study: NFL concussion protocol won’t protect players from CTE

Sports & Politics Intersect: Nassar's victims put USA Gymnastics, MSU on trial

The 'One of these things is not like the other' quiz

Top 25 times franchise players have changed scenes in MLB

The best college hoops games to watch down the stretch

NHL Weekender: Kings, Leafs heading in the wrong direction

NFL Championship Weekend Predictions: History will be made in the NFC

Devin Booker is expanding his game beyond getting buckets

Greatest NFL Conference Championship moments ever

Top 10 X-factors for Conference Championship Games

Case Keenum deserves better than the also-ran description

Best performances in the history of NFL Conference Championship games

15 underrated NBA players having tremendous seasons

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 Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sports & Politics Intersect: Nassar's victims put USA Gymnastics, MSU on trial

Top 25 times franchise players have changed scenes in MLB

The 'One of these things is not like the other' quiz

The best college hoops games to watch down the stretch

NHL Weekender: Kings, Leafs heading in the wrong direction

The 'Baby I'm a (All-)Star' quiz

Devin Booker is expanding his game beyond getting buckets

Ranking baseball's GMs entering the 2018 season

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: The Saints miss an important long-distance call

Johnny Gaudreau, Flames hope layoff won't cool them down

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