Mike Napoli shows signs of snapping funk

Mike Napoli shows signs of snapping funk
August 10, 2013, 1:30 am
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Mike Napoli shows signs of breaking out of his recent funk with a 2-for-3 performance with 3 RBI.

(AP Photo)

KANSAS CITY – Mike Napoli has been a streaky hitter for most of his career. He entered Friday’s game against the Royals batting just .114, going 4-for-35 with no extra-base hits, seven walks, and 15 strikeouts in his previous 10 games since July 29.
 
On Wednesday, he was out of the starting lineup, and worked with hitting coaches Greg Colbrunn and Victor Rodriguez before the finale of the three-game series in Houston.
 
When he returned to the lineup on Thursday, he was dropped to the sixth spot, his first time this season in a slot other than fifth or fourth. He went 1-for-4 in that game.
 
But, the Sox hope his performance in Friday’s 9-6 loss to the Royals may be the jump start he needs to start a new streak in the other direction. Napoli went 2-for-3, reaching base four times, with a double, a single, a walk and getting hit by a pitch. His three-run double with two outs in the fourth broke a tie. It was his first extra-base since July 28 at Baltimore, 11 games and 45 plate appearances prior.
 
“Very good night for him,” manager John Farrell said. “On base four times against good stuff. Gets a fastball up on the 3-2 count with [right-hander Ervin] Santana in a key spot. Very good to see him swing the bat and that kind of production.”
 
“I felt pretty good tonight,” Napoli said.
 
The game’s outcome, though, diminished that feeling, he said.
 
“Just got some hits tonight,” he said. “I’ve been doing the same thing, trying to grind through at-bats and put a couple of good ones together.
 
“Just trying to get on top of the ball, be on time, and see the ball. It’s just a process. I wasn’t feeling too good and just putting in the work. I always put in work and happened to get some hits tonight.”