Mike Napoli’s Walk-Off Home Run Allows Boston Red Sox to Take Crucial Series From Yankees

Mark L. Baer-USA Today Sports

The Boston Red Sox have paced the way, not only in the AL East, but in the entire league through the front half of the season. Coming out of the All Star break, the Red Sox had their hated rivals in town for a crucial, three-game series to begin the second half of the 2013 MLB season.

After taking the first game of the series on Friday night, the New York Yankees responded on Saturday afternoon with a win of their own — setting up a Sunday night contest that had plenty of potential momentum riding with every pitch. Sunday’s contest between Boston and New York lived up to the billing, taking forever, and needing extra innings to decide a winner.

In the eleventh inning, Mike Napoli decided enough was enough, sending his second home run of the game over the fence and giving Boston an 8-7 victory in the process. Napoli’s big night ended with a bang, as the Red Sox picked up their 60th win of the season in thrilling fashion. Even more importantly however, was the team’s ability to take two out of three from New York, keep the edge in the AL East and bury the Yankees in fourth place to a greater extent.

New York now trails Boston by seven games, but it’s the Tampa Bay Rays and the Baltimore Orioles who are chomping at the bit for the time being. Tampa Bay’s stellar play this month has allowed them to move within a 1.5 of first place, while Baltimore sits 3.5 back.

As the calendar nears August, the pressure begins to mount, so Boston knows that winning their division will hinge on dispatching their rivals and this past weekend was a clear indication that they are ready for the late summer challenge.

 

Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS

 

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