Napoli facing favorite foe during favorite month

Napoli facing favorite foe during favorite month

Napoli facing favorite foe during favorite month
ANAHEIM -- The snap is back in Mike Napoli's stroke. The Rangers' catcher showed how much better he's feeling by unloading a towering home run over the center-field wall against former teammate Jered Weaver early in Texas' 11-3 loss on Tuesday. Napoli singled in his next at-bat.

At Angel Stadium, nobody has ever gone deep with more frequency than Napoli -- once every 14.6 career at-bats. The names behind him on the list are impressive: Troy Glaus, Mo Vaughn, Reggie Jackson and Tim Salmon. Napoli has 57 homers in his former park in 830 at-bats. And what he has done to his old team falls under the heading of devastation.

"Nap seems to have some magic in this ballpark," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He gets energized here."

When the weather cools just a tad in September, Napoli goes to work. In his two seasons with Texas, he's hitting .430 in the month in 79 at-bats, with 10 homers and 23 RBIs in 24 games.

Since returning from the disabled list, having missed 33 games with a quad strain, Napoli is 4-for-9 with two homers and four RBIs. He was the designated hitter on Wednesday night with Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre unable to play.

"I'm feeling pretty good," Napoli said. "I've always enjoyed hitting here. This is where it all started."

Dealt with Juan Rivera to Toronto after the 2010 season, then shipped by the Blue Jays to Texas for reliever Frank Francisco, Napoli has punished his former club. He's hitting .400 with 10 homers in 29 games against the Angels. He owns a .800 slugging percentage and 1.304 OPS.

At Angel Stadium, he's hitting .424 in 16 games as a Ranger, with nine homers and 13 RBIs.