Napoli’s 2 HRs lead Rangers over Padres
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Party at Napoli’s — Texas Rangers style.
Mike Napoli homered twice, including a game-ending three-run shot , as the Rangers rallied late for a 5-2 victory over the San Diego Padres on Thursday night.
“A lot of fun,” Napoli said. “The at-bat before felt pretty good. It was a feeling I’ve been looking for for a long time. And in that last at-bat, I was just trying to repeat it.”
The Rangers had been held scoreless by San Diego lefty starter Clayton Richard until Napoli hit a 433-foot homer to left on the first pitch of the eighth inning, a hanging slider.
“Literally one mistake all day, to Napoli,” Padres manager Andy Green said.
Napoli topped that with a 448-foot shot, his seventh of the season, into the club-level seats higher in left field to end a four-run ninth off Padres closer Brandon Maurer (0-2).
“That’s what we know he’s capable of,” said shortstop Elvis Andrus, who scored the tying run before Napoli’s blast. “Sometimes you just need a couple of good games like that. The trust is coming back. The swing is coming back.”
“Party at Napoli’s” became a team rallying cry for the AL champion Cleveland Indians last season, when Napoli hit a career-high 34 homers. After Cleveland didn’t re-sign him, Napoli is hitting just .172 so far in his third stint in Texas.
His 15th career multihomer game came on the same day the Rangers started selling “Party at Napoli’s” T-shirts at the ballpark for $32 a pop, with some of the proceeds going to charity. More than 300 of the shirts were sold and the team was already ordering more.
MLB stats measured the exit velocity of the game-winner at 111 mph. It was the fourth time in Napoli’s career to end a game with a homer.
Andrus started the ninth-inning rally with a one-out single before Jonathan Lucroy followed with his third hit, looping a single that dropped just in front of diving center fielder Manual Margot. Rougned Odor then singled through the left side of the infield to drive home Andrus with the tying run and bring Napoli to the plate.
Sam Dyson (1-4), the demoted Rangers closer, worked around two hits in a scoreless ninth.
Martin Perez scattered seven hits over 6 1-3 innings with three strikeouts and two walks, one of those intentional. The Rangers lefty avoided becoming the majors’ first six-game loser when his team rallied late.
Richard struck out four with one walk while allowing five hits pitching into the eighth.
COULD HAVE BEEN MORE
After Tony Barnette relieved Perez with the bases loaded in the seventh, Margot hit a deep sacrifice fly for a 2-0 Padres lead. Speedy left fielder Delino DeShields went a long way to make a running catch in the gap near the warning track, a catch that prevented more runs from scoring.
SPIKED AT THIRD
Austin Hedges had his right hand stepped on while sliding into third base in the seventh before scoring on Margot’s sac fly. Pete Kozma made a diving backhanded stop well behind third base when Luis Sardinas hit a chopper down the line. Kozma quickly shuffled to his feet hoping to get a forceout, but instead stepped on Hedges’ hand that was already on the bag. “Got spiked, a little bit of blood, but he’s fine,” Green said.
Padres: Lefty reliever Jose Torres was available to pitch a night after a comebacker measured at 105 mph struck him flush just above his right wrist. “His throwing hand is fine,” Green said. “If it had caught off the bone, he wouldn’t have had a chance.”
Rangers: 3B Adrian Beltre, who hasn’t played yet this season because of calf issues, took batting practice on the field for the first time since he re-aggravated the muscle three weeks ago. Beltre also took some groundballs, but still hasn’t run at full speed.
Padres: Jhoulys Chacin (3-3), in his 10th major league season, makes his first career appearance against the Chicago White Sox. That will leave only two MLB teams he has never faced: Colorado and Toronto.
Rangers: Andrew Cashner looks for his first win with the Rangers in the opener of a weekend series at home against the Oakland Athletics. Cashner (0-3) has a 2.63 ERA in his five starts, but has gotten no run support (1.65 runs per start).
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