NEW YORK — The Red Sox have been waiting patiently all summer for Mike Napoli to get hot. That time has come.
Napoli hit two home runs and drove in three runs on Saturday as the Red Sox beat the Yankees, 13-9.
Napoli has six home runs and 16 RBIs in his last 12 games. Over the last four games he is 9 for 17 with two doubles, four home runs, and nine RBIs.
Jonny Gomes was 3 for 4 with a home run and four RBIs for the Red Sox, who had 14 hits off David Huff (2-1) and two relievers. Rookie Xander Bogaerts was 2 for 4 with a double and his first career home run. The blast to left field traveled nearly 450 feet.
Over the last four games, the Red Sox are 64 of 166 (.386) with 54 runs. They have 10 doubles and 17 home runs in that stretch.
The Sox have won five straight, eight of nine, and 12 of their last 14 games. At 87-57, they are 30 games over .500 for the first time since Sept. 3, 2011.
The Red Sox famously collapsed that season and missed the playoffs. But they lead the Rays by eight games pending the result of Tampa Bay’s game at Seattle on Saturday night.
Napoli had a two-run homer in the second inning to get the Red Sox going, and Gomes’s three-run shot to left in the third inning made it 5-1. The Sox then scored five runs on six hits in the fourth inning to knock Huff out of the game.
Bogaerts hit his home run in the fifth inning. The ball sailed over the Red Sox bullpen in left. The 20-year-old shortstop also made a barehanded play to take a hit away from Robinson Cano in the fifth inning.
John Lackey, a victim of poor run support all season, got the victory despite pitching poorly. Lackey (9-12) allowed seven runs on eight hits and three walks over 5⅔ innings.
The Red Sox, up 12-3 after five innings, saw their pitching fall apart. Lackey walked two of the first three batters he faced in the sixth, and the Yankees scored on a double by Brett Gardner off Matt Thornton. Derek Jeter followed with an RBI single.
Rookie lefthander Drake Britton pitched a scoreless seventh inning. But Mark Reynolds had a two-run double in the eighth inning as the Yankees closed the gap to 12-9.
With a runner on second and one out, Junichi Tazawa came in and got two outs to keep the game under some semblance of control.
The Sox will have Jon Lester (13-8) on the mound on Sunday as they seek a rare four-game sweep of their rivals. He will oppose Hiroki Kuroda (11-10).Peter Abraham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.