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Napoli's slam leads Red Sox past A's

The SportsXchange

BOSTON -- By the end of the fifth inning on Monday night, Mike Napoli had reached base three times, scored two runs, and collected five RBIs, capped by his fifth-inning grand slam. He went 2-for-4, and also had an RBI double in the second and was hit by a pitch in fourth, as the Red Sox went on to beat the A's, 9-6.

Napoli's grand slam was the fourth of his career and first since July 8, 2011, against the A's while with the Rangers.

"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. And I just got a pitch to drive and I hit a grand slam."

Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks, who entered Monday mired in a deep slump, hit a three-run home run in the fourth inning.

"Good offensive night," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "I thought our guys did a great job of going early in the count and squaring them up. The five-run fifth, obviously highlighted by the grand slam, was key for us. And good to see Will come up in a big situation for the three-run homer."

Oakland opened the scoring in the second inning when Jed Lowrie led off with a walk from Red Sox left-hander Felix Doubront. Lowrie took third on Josh Donaldson's one-out double and scored on a wild pitch, with Donaldson going to third. Josh Reddick's single scored Donaldson, giving the A's a 2-0 lead.

Boston got a run in the bottom of the second on consecutive doubles by David Ortiz and Napoli.

The A's got a run in the fifth when Nate Freiman walked with one out, went to second on Andy Parrino's single, took third on a wild pitch and scored on Chris Young's sacrifice fly.

The Red Sox sent 11 batters to the plate in their five-run fifth inning. Napoli's grand slam with no outs scored Shane Victorino, who singled, Dustin Pedroia, who reached on an error by A's second baseman Andy Parrino, and Ortiz, who walked.

After Daniel Nava reached on an error by first baseman Brandon Moss, A's starter A.J. Griffin was done. Chris Resop came in to relieve.

Middlebrooks, who had been 4-for-43 entering Monday's game, reached on a fielder's choice and scored on a double by Jarrod Saltalamacchia, putting the Red Sox ahead, 9-3.

Griffin went four innings, giving up nine runs (seven earned) on eight hits and a walk with two home runs, a hit batter and three strikeouts. His ERA rose from 2.25 to 4.80.

"It just looked like he was rushing just a bit, and balls that are usually at the knees for him were more mid-thigh," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "Actually, the ball Napoli hit was down, but he's a pretty good low-ball hitter."

Griffin gave up a career-high in runs and tied his career high in hits allowed.

"It felt like I was making good pitches," he said. "They were just really aggressive right off the bat. I was trying to get ahead and they were putting good swings on them.

"I didn't feel like I made that bad of pitches. The worst pitch I thought was the one that Middlebrooks hit, the hanging cutter. Just trying to get back in the count and he tagged that one pretty good. The one Napoli hit, he went down and got it, just kind of got to tip your cap to him on that. That's a good piece of hitting right there."

Doubront went 6 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on three hits and five walks with eight strikeouts. He earned the win to improve to 2-0. Andrew Bailey earned his fourth save with a scoreless ninth.

The A's got three runs off Clayton Mortensen in the eighth on Donaldson's two-run double and Reddick's double to score Donaldson.

NOTES: Former Red Sox and current A's Moss and Reddick visited some of last week's victims of the Boston Marathon bombings at Boston Children's Hospital on Monday morning. ... Red Sox closer Joel Hanrahan, on the disabled list since April 14 with a right hamstring strain, threw off a mound Monday for the first time since his last game, April 13, when he faced two Rays batters and walked both. Hanrahan threw 30 pitches, mostly fastballs. ... Right fielder Victorino was back in the Red Sox lineup Monday. He left Saturday's game and missed Sunday's doubleheader against the Royals with low back tightness. ... Right-hander John Lackey, on the disabled list since April 7 with a biceps strain, made his first rehab start on Monday with Double-A Portland. He went 3 2/3 scoreless innings, giving up three hits and two walks with five strikeouts. Lackey threw 67 pitches, 45 for strikes. ... Bailey and Napoli were named American League co-players of the week for last week as the Red Sox went 5-2. Napoli hit .345 (10-for-29) with five doubles, a triple, a home run and 10 RBIs. In addition to leading the majors in RBIs, Napoli finished was tied for first overall in doubles, tied for second in total bases, and was tied for third in hits. Bailey was 1-0 with three saves, one walk, and eight strikeouts over 5.0 innings pitched in five appearances. ... Left-hander Franklin Morales, on the disabled list since the start of the season with a low back strain, also has a sore left pectoral muscle. ... Left-hander Craig Breslow, on the disabled list since the start of the season with left shoulder tendinitis, is scheduled to start a rehab assignment Saturday with Triple-A Pawtucket. ... The A's acquired outfielder Casper Wells from the Blue Jays for cash. Wells, who becomes the A's fourth outfielder, is expected to join the team in Boston on Tuesday. ... Scott Sizemore, on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left knee, was moved to the 60-day DL. ... Yoenis Cespedes, on the disabled list since April 13 with a strained muscle in his left hand, is eligible to be activated on Sunday. He took some swings in batting practice on Monday. ... Moss entered Monday's game having hit safely in all five career games against the Red Sox, who drafted him in the eighth round in 2002. He was hitting .733, going 11-for-15, with a 1.533 slugging percentage against the Red Sox with seven runs scored, three doubles, three home runs, and nine RBIs. He went 0-for-3 on Monday... Jed Lowrie entered Monday's game hitless in consecutive games for the first time this season. He went 0-for-4 with a walk on Monday...Dustin Pedroia went 0-for-5, snapping his streak of 18 games reaching base safely.
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