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Napoli Has Been Red Hot

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Napoli Has Been Red Hot

AP

Mike Napoli wasn't supposed to be this good.

After being acquired from Toronto via Los Angeles just before the season started, it was thought that the long-time Angel would just catch occasionally, maybe play some first base, and DH against left-handed pitching, which he murders.

That, of course, led to some ruffled feathers for the guy who might very well be the team's MVP this year, Michael Young, but nevermind that.

Napoli has far exceeded expectations, especially behind the plate and with his trust calling games with the Rangers pitchers.

But as of late, Napoli's bat has been explosive.

His big two-run home run to the opposite field in the top of the eighth inning on Tuesday night in Detroit followed a solo blast by Nelson Cruz and tied up the game before it was lost in the next half-inning.

And that just continued a recent tear that Napoli has been on for the Rangers, which has been huge in the absence of Adrian Beltre's bat in the lineup, which should return soon as Beltre recovers from a muscle strain.

Napoli has two hits in each of his past four games and is 13-for-25 in his last six games. He's seen his average rise from .260 on July 21 to .294 going into Wednesday's game in Detroit. He has three home runs in his last four games.

When Beltre gets back, which should be soon, this lineup could pretty special once again.

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