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Boston Slams Oakland

Boston — Mike Napoli hit a grand slam and drove in five runs, Will Middlebrooks busted out of a slump with a three-run homer and the Boston Red Sox rebounded from a doubleheader sweep by beating the Oakland Athletics 9-6 last night.

The Red Sox, swept by Kansas City in a day-night doubleheader Sunday, scored three runs in the fourth and five in the fifth. Napoli’s fourth career slam keyed the five-run fifth and helped end Oakland’s eight-game winning streak against Boston.

The Athletics dropped their season-high fourth straight after being swept in a three-game series at the Tampa Bay Rays over the weekend. Oakland’s winning streak against Boston was its longest in franchise history since the Philadelphia Athletics won eight in row in 1932.

Felix Doubront (2-0) struggled with his control, but got the win on a night with wind chills in the 30s. He allowed three runs on three hits, walking five. He also threw two wild pitches and struck out eight in 6 2-3 innings.

A.J. Griffin (2-1) was tagged for a career-worst nine runs — seven earned — and eight hits in four-plus innings.

Dustin Pedroia went 0-for-5, ending his streak of reaching base safely in each of Boston’s first 18 games.

Trailing 2-1 in the fourth, the Red Sox jumped in front when the slumping Middlebrooks belted his homer. Napoli was hit by a pitch and Daniel Nava doubled down the left field line before Middlebrooks, just 4 for his last 43 since hitting three homers in Toronto on April 7, homered into the Green Monster seats.

Chris Young’s sacrifice fly cut it to 4-3 in the fifth, but the Athletics left the bases loaded. Boston then broke it open with Napoli’s slam.

Shane Victorino singled leading off and Pedroia reached on a fielder’s choice. Second baseman Andy Parrino dropped a throw at second trying to get a force on the play. David Ortiz then walked before Napoli hit an 0-1 pitch into the first row of Monster seats into deep left-center. Jarrod Saltalamacchia added an RBI double off reliever Chris Resop, making it 9-3.

The Athletics made it interesting in the eighth, scoring three runs off reliever Clayton Mortensen — two on a double by Josh Donaldson and the other on Josh Reddick’s RBI double — before Junichi Tazawa escaped a two-on, one-out jam. Andrew Bailey worked the ninth for his fourth save.

Oakland had moved ahead 2-0 in the second when Doubront’s first wild pitch allowed a run. Reddick followed with an RBI single.

Boston cut it to 2-1 in the bottom half on Napoli’s RBI double.

Reddick, Moss
Visit Bombing Victim

Boston — Josh Reddick and Brandon Moss of the Oakland Athletics visited an 11-year-old boy yesterday who was injured a week ago in the bombings at the Boston Marathon.

Moss and Reddick, who both previously played for the Red Sox, are in town for the start of a three-game series Monday night against the Red Sox.

They spent time at Boston’s Children’s Hospital, visiting Aaron Hern, who is from the Oakland area, and had his left leg hit by shrapnel in the bombings.

Oakland manager Bob Melvin talked about how the two players were glad they went and were emotional from the visit.

“I (spoke) with Mossie a little bit,” Melvin said in the dugout, while the players were stretching prior to the game.

“He said that he was very glad and it was a very touching moment, and that the perspective that you get when you’re there talking to someone that’s been involved — as opposed to coming out here and losing a baseball game, it’s pretty insignificant — they were glad to do it and they’re probably better for it, too.”

Melvin also discussed how it was when the team was making its way to the hotel Sunday night.

“It was a pretty eerie feeling last night driving up,” Melvin said. “You look down Boylston Street and it’s still closed, with all the TV trucks and satellite trucks still in the area. You can only imagine what it was like at that time. That’s the great thing about baseball and sports: we’re able to provide some entertainment for two, three hours, whatever it is.”

Moss is in the starting lineup, batting third and playing first. Reddick is hitting seventh and playing right.