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Boston tee off party: Red Sox launch four more home runs

Boston Red Sox hitter Mike Napoli swings for

Boston Red Sox hitter Mike Napoli swings for a home run during the ninth inning against the Yankees. (Sept. 7, 2013) Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

In the first three games of their series, it hasn't made a difference who has been on the mound for the Yankees or who has been at the plate for the Red Sox. The result has been the same: a boatload of runs for Boston.

That was the case again Saturday as Boston took its third straight from the Yankees in a 13-9 slugfest that was powered by 14 hits and four home runs.

The Red Sox have 34 runs, 45 hits and nine homers in the first three games of the four-game series. They arrived at Yankee Stadium on the heels of a 20-4 drubbing of the Tigers.

"When we're scoring runs like this and taking pressure off our pitchers, it's nice," first baseman Mike Napoli said. "Sometimes you're like, 'What's going on?' Because what we're doing right now is pretty crazy. But we're enjoying it, coming out and playing hard every day and just taking it one day at a time."

Napoli has been the hottest bat in the Sox lineup, which is no small feat considering their current streak. He hit two home runs Saturday and has gone 7-for-12 with three homers and eight RBIs in the series. From the fifth inning of Thursday's opener until the third inning Saturday, he reached base in nine straight plate appearances.

"Wow, he's hitting bombs," rookie shortstop Xander Bogaerts said. "Not even my ball goes so far. It's good that he's hot."

Napoli, who has 21 homers this season, couldn't match Bogaerts' distance, though. The highly regarded prospect crushed his first career home run an estimated 443 feet over the Sox bullpen in left-center. Bogaerts wasn't able to enjoy the majestic flight of the homer because of a cramp that seized his calf after he connected.

"I wasn't even paying attention to where the ball was, actually," he said. "Once I got to first base, I started looking to see where it was going. I really didn't think about it. I was worried more about my cramp."

His teammates saw it and won't soon forget it. "That was a big home run," Jonny Gomes said. "I wasn't doing that at 20, that's for sure. That's a big part of the ballpark. We just can't forget that the kid is 20 and is a shortstop. Not too many shortstops with that power."

Power has been contagious in the Sox lineup. Gomes, a platoon outfielder, hit his 12th homer, a three-run shot in the third inning off David Huff, who was making his first start for the Yankees. Every Red Sox batter had a hit by the fourth inning, and Huff was charged with nine runs in 3 1/3 innings.

The Yankees tagged Red Sox starter John Lackey for seven runs in 5 2/3 innings to make things interesting, but Boston's offensive onslaught was too much to overcome.

"The boys picked me up today," Lackey said. "They swung the bats great. They've swung the bats great the whole series. It's fun to watch when they get on a roll like that."


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