If you forgot veteran slugger Mike Napoli was a force to be reckoned with, you weren’t alone. The 34-year-old entered Monday’s ALCS Game 3 versus the Blue Jays having gone hitless in the two prior ALCS games as well as the third and final game of the ALDS against the Red Sox. In total, Napoli was 2-for-18 with a single and a double in the 2016 postseason for an uninspiring .111/.111/.167 triple-slash line.
Napoli made his presence felt in Game 3 in a big way, providing some serious lumber. He opened the scoring with two outs in the bottom of the first, drilling an RBI double to right field that caromed off of Jose Bautista, allowing Carlos Santana to score. Napoli followed up in the fourth inning, swatting a no-doubt solo home run to center field off of Marcus Stroman, breaking a 1-1 tie.
Here’s what both hits looked like:
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Jason Kipnis also hit a solo homer in the sixth inning off of Stroman. Two at-bats later, Stroman walked Napoli, ending his night. Reliever Joe Biagini came in and Jose Ramirez doubled Napoli home to provide the Indians an insurance run. Big night for Napoli.