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Mike Napoli's timing at the plate returned at the perfect time for the struggling Boston Red Sox.
Napoli smacked two homers and drove in three runs, Steven Wright pitched six-plus solid innings and the Red Sox snapped a three-game losing streak with an 8-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday night.
"It's been impressive to see what he's done against that team," Boston manager John Farrell said. "I think more importantly for us, he's on time. It's more consistent than what we've seen in a number of years from Nap. It couldn't come at a better time."
Napoli has tormented the Angels since leaving the club that originally drafted him, hitting .327 with 17 homers and 32 RBIs in 46 games.
He credits this current hot stretch with some adjustments during batting practice.
"I feel pretty good. This is the time where I have to maintain what I'm doing right now in the cage in my BPs," he said. "I know where my hands have to get. It's a good feeling having to go in there and compete and not think what's going wrong with my swing. I'm going to try and keep that muscle memory in the game."
Napoli's second homer - a two-run shot that completely left Fenway Park, clearing the Green Monster seats - broke a 2-2 tie in the sixth. It was his third in two days and his fourth in five games.
C. J. Wilson said he didn't even want to throw a strike on the pitch.
"I was trying to keep it back door at best, maybe throw it a little below the zone or something like that and see if he'd chase," he said.
But the former Angel just continued his run against his old team.
"I think last year we did a pretty good job against him, times we've done OK, and times he's really swung the bat well against us, so I don't know," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Napoli's success against his team.
Xander Bogaerts had a two-run single and Mookie Betts, two RBI singles for Boston, which had a shuffled batting order with Dustin Pedroia leading off and David Ortiz batting cleanup, moving from his customary third spot.
Kole Calhoun had a two-run double and Mike Trout, an RBI single for the Angels, who lost for only the fourth time in 11 games.
Wright (2-1) allowed two runs and four hits, striking two and walking just one. The knuckleballer retired 18 of 19 batters after Calhoun's double before being pulled following a one-out walk in the seventh.
Wilson (2-3) threw a season-high 119 pitches over six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits, fanning six and walking three.
It was the most runs scored by Boston since an 11-8 loss at home against Toronto on April 28.
Bogaerts' single gave Boston a 6-2 cushion in the seventh.
Napoli's first homer went into the second row of Monster seats, hitting a handmade sign on the back of the row with a bull's-eye and read "It's my Birthday. Hit it to me."
NOW THAT'S TIMING
Boston's Brock Holt took off on a hit-and-run and ended up scoring from first on Blake Swihart's single to right in the eighth.
IN A PINCH
Betts had a pinch-hit RBI single when he entered in the third for injured RF Shane Victorino.
"I knew I had to be ready before the game," he said.
Angels: Reliever Mike Morin walked off the mound after throwing a pitch in the seventh. He has a left oblique strain.
Red Sox: 3B Pablo Sandoval, who hasn't started a game since being hit on the side of the left knee on Tuesday, wasn't in the lineup again Saturday. Manager John Farrell said he was available, but didn't start with a left-hander going for Los Angeles. The switch-hitting Sandoval is 2 for 41 from the right side. ... RF Shane Victorino left the game with left calf tightness. He was scratched Thursday and didn't play Friday due to the sore calf.
Angels: LHP Hector Santiago (3-2, 2.25 ERA) is slated to start the series finale. He's allowed one or no runs in six of his seven starts.
Red Sox: LHP Wade Miley (3-4, 5.10 ERA) is scheduled to start for Boston in the finale of its six-game homestand. He'll be facing the Angels for the first time in his career and comes in off consecutive strong starts, earning two wins while allowing two runs over 13 2-3 innings.
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