Mike Napoli hit his fifth home run of the homestand in the Red Sox win. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Closing Time: Mike Napoli homers again, Wade Miley throws gem as Red Sox take series over Angels

Ryan Hannable
May 24, 2015 - 12:13 pm
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Dare we say the Red Sox have turned a corner? Following an unimpressive start to the homestand, dropping three of the first four games with barely any life, the Red Sox won the last two games of the series against the Angels, capping it off with a 6-1 win Sunday. Wade Miley gave the Red Sox their second exceptional start in as many games, as the left-hander went eight innings, allowing one run on four hits, while walking one and striking out two. He didn't allow a baserunner until two outs in the fifth when he walked Chris Iannetta and then the next batter, C.J. Cron singled to left following a review of whether a pitch was a hit by pitch or foul ball that hit the knob of the bat. Miley ended his outing in style, getting a double play to end the eighth inning, with Mike Trout standing on deck. "It comes down to fastball command," manager John Farrell said. "Even when he's got a couple of guys on base. He hasn't overthrown as we saw maybe back in April. He's turned things around personally this month, that's pretty clear. But he's back to a quick pace but a comfortable one for him and he's commanded his pitches." Mike Napoli continued his monster homestand as the first baseman crushed a two-run home run in the second inning to dead centerfield. It traveled 451 feet. Napoli finished the homestand 9-for-21 with five homers and 7 RBIs, and for his career has owned the Angels as coming in to the game he had the best all-time slugging percentage (.716) and OPS (1.163). The Red Sox added another run in the fifth on a sacrifice fly from Dustin Pedroia, bringing in Brock Holt, who hit a ground rule double to open the inning. Sandy Leon had a perfect sacrifice bunt getting him to third. They added three more insurance runs in the eighth when Napoli ripped a two-RBI double off the Green Monster and the next batter, pinch-hitter Pablo Sandoval, delivered an RBI single. "Having people on base when you're hitting and feeling good, it's a good feeling driving in runs and [being able to] contribute," Napoli said. Koji Uehara pitched a 1-2-3 ninth in a non-save situation. As a team the Red Sox have now hit home runs in 18 of their 22 home games, which ties the Astros for most in the American League. SWENSON GRANITE WORKS ROCK SOLID PERFORMER OF THE GAME: Miley. The left-hander was exceptional, as he gave the Red Sox their second straight outstanding start. Vote on the Rock Solid Performer of the week and enter to win a VIP Boston Baseball Experience at weei.com/rocksolid. Here's what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox' win: WHAT WENT RIGHT -- Napoli has found his swing following a tough start to the season, as he hit his fifth home run of the homestand. He entered play Tuesday with three through the first 33 games of the season. -- Bogaerts extended his hit streak to seven games with an outstanding game going 4-for-4 and is hitting .444 (11-for-25) during the streak -- his longest of the season. -- Pedroia went 1-for-2 to extend his own hit streak to four games. Once again he hit out of the leadoff spot, as the Red Sox continue to look for a spark offensively. He reached base twice, as besides a first inning single, he walked in the seventh. The second baseman also added the sac fly in the fifth. -- The Red Sox made two great defensive plays in the seventh inning. First, Pedroia made a great play up the middle diving for a ball and getting Kole Calhoun at first and then Holt robbed the next batter, David Freese of a hit with a diving play at third base. WHAT WENT WRONG -- David Ortiz continues to struggle against lefties as he finished 0-for-4 overall, and 0-for-3 against starter Hector Gonzalez. For the season he is now down to .109 against lefties. He's also in the midst of a 0-for-12 slump. -- Mookie Betts went 0-for-4 with a strikeout, ending a five-game hit streak. -- Holt was pinch-hit for by Sandoval in the eighth as he took a liner off the arm and shoulder in the top half of the inning.

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