Angels top D-backs on Napoli homer in 9th

BY foxsports • June 28, 2009

At least Mike Napoli spared the dining patrons at Chase Field this time.

Napoli hit a tiebreaking 428-foot home run off the batter's eye in center field in the ninth inning, lifting the Los Angeles Angels to a 2-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday.

"I'm just trying to drive a ball and put a good swing on a pitch," Napoli said after the Angels won their fourth straight and 11th in the last 14.


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The game-winner off Chad Qualls (1-1) came three years and four days after his 470-foot shot landed among fans in the second row of a dining section in deep left field, the third-longest homer in Chase Field history.

"I don't keep track of that," Napoli said of the home run distance. "I'm just glad I can help my team win. It was a key moment. It's definitely exciting to do that, and get our closer in the game and try to close it out."

Darren Oliver (2-0) pitched a scoreless eighth and Brian Fuentes got the last three outs for his major league-leading 21st save.

Los Angeles also improved its major league-best record in interleague play this season to 13-4 and moved into a tie with Texas for the AL West. The Rangers hosted San Diego later Saturday night.

Napoli also had two singles, giving him 14 hits in his last 31 at-bats, with two homers and seven RBIs.

"He's got sick pop. He's got the most pop on this team by far," Angels starter John Lackey said. "I was actually in the clubhouse, telling the people about the one (in 2006). People were up there eating."

Arizona has lost four straight and seven of eight. The D-backs are 0-7-1 in their last eight home series, and have not won a series at home since taking two of three from the Chicago Cubs on May 27-29.

Lackey and Arizona's Doug Davis had nearly identical lines with each giving up an unearned run over seven innings. Lackey allowed five hits - all singles - with three walks and struck out nine. Davis also gave up five singles, walked three and struck out eight.

The Diamondbacks took a 1-0 lead in the fourth after Mark Reynolds led off with a single and advanced to second when left fielder Juan Rivera let the ball get past him for an error. Reynolds moved to third on Felipe Lopez's grounder and scored on Tony Clark's sacrifice fly. Clark drove in a run for the third straight day, following solo home runs Thursday and Friday.



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