The Boston Red Sox have started the 2013 season off with an outstanding turnaround from their disastrous 2012 season. The team shed payroll last year and added a few key pieces to fill wholes left by those traded away this past offseason. One of the big acquisitions was first baseman Mike Napoli.
Napoli looks like a true Red Sox player. The way he wears his jersey and the way he looks in it, he just looks like he was born to don a Red Sox uniform.
The first baseman is off to a hot start with the Red Sox. In his first 22 games of the season, he is batting .273 with 10 doubles, four home runs, 26 RBIs and a triple. He leads the entire MLB in doubles and RBI through the early part of the season.
Napoli doesn’t look to be slowing down and when Erik Bedard takes the mound at Fenway Park on Friday evening for the Houston Astros, the Red Sox first baseman will have a smile on his face. Over his career, Napoli has only hit .231 against Bedard, but when he gets contact on the ball, it goes far.
Napoli has hit two home runs with four RBIs in 13 at-bats against Bedard over his career, and is looking to add more at hitter-friendly Fenway Park. Bedard is 5-4 with a 4.25 ERA against the Red Sox over his career and is familiar with the ballpark, since he was in a Red Sox uniform not long ago.
Ryan Dempster will see if he can pick up his first win of the season when he takes the mound on Friday night. Dempster is 0-2 with a 3.38 ERA this season and has pitched well enough to get the win multiple times this season, but a lack of run support has cost him. Over his career, the former NL pitcher is 6-12 with a 4.32 ERA against the Astros.
First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. eastern at Fenway Park.