Napoli’s two long home runs lift Red Sox


AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette

As good as Clay Buchholz was on Wednesday, Mike Napoli’s two mammoth home runs were the talk of the clubhouse.

The first was a solo shot in the fourth inning off Mark Buehrle that landed in a standing room area in straightaway center field. ESPN’s Home Run Tracker estimated it at 472 feet.

The Blue Jays intentionally walked David Ortiz to get to Napoli with two runners on in the seventh inning. Righthander Esmil Rogers fell behind 3-and-0.

Napoli looked over to third base coach Brian Butterfield, who relayed a signal from manager John Farrell that he was clear to swing at the next pitch.


“I like doing it. You’re mostly going to get a fastball you can try to drive,” said Napoli, who has hit five home runs on 3-0 counts in his career.

Rogers threw a 95-mph fastball that was over the plate and a little high. Napoli hit the ball into the third deck in left center field, the ball coming to rest in the front row of a section of club seats.

The crowd of 21,094 actually applauded, they were so impressed with the feat.

“There aren’t many human beings who can hit a fastball to center field that far,” Jonny Gomes said. “I think I saw [former Jays slugger] Carlos Delgado do it once.”

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen one up in that area at Rogers Centre,” said NESN’s Jerry Remy, who has been calling Red Sox games for 26 years.

ESPN had it at 467 feet, which all of the Red Sox scoffed at.

“The second one was longer,” Will Middlebrooks said.

Napoli thought the second one was longer, too. Not that he cared.

“It wouldn’t matter to me if it goes just over the fence,” he said. “It’s just the same thing.”

Napoli stuck out each of the four times he came up on Tuesday.


“How did you bounce back?” a radio reporter asked him.

“Obviously pretty good,” Napoli said, drawing laughs. “I go day-by-day. I’m able to let things go. I had a rough night but today was a new day. I hit them pretty good.”

It was the 11th time Napoli has hit two home runs in a game. He has five on the season to go along with 31 RBIs in 27 games.

Mike Carp, Stephen Drew and Daniel Nava also homered for the Red Sox, who had 15 hits in all. The Sox are 19-8, the best record in baseball, and have won seven of nine.

The Red Sox have hit 16 home runs in five games at the Rogers Centre. They have 15 in their other 22 games.

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