Napoli HR off Tanaka in 9th, Red Sox edge Yankees

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NEW YORK (AP) - Mike Napoli hoped Masahiro Tanaka would make a mistake. The New York Yankees ace sure did - he twice shook off his catcher, then threw a pitch the Boston slugger could handle.

Napoli stung Tanaka by hitting a solo home run with two outs in the ninth inning, lifting Jon Lester and the Red Sox over the Yankees 2-1 Saturday night.

“What an idiot!” Napoli was heard exclaiming on Fox television microphones as he high-fived teammates in the dugout.

Napoli later said he didn’t mean any disrespect, adding he was “surprised” Tanaka didn’t throw his tremendous split-finger fastball.

Napoli had struck out in his previous two at-bats, was down 1-2 in the count this time and was having all sorts of trouble with Tanaka’s diving splitter.

“He had me where he wanted me,” Napoli said.

Tanaka, however, preferred to throw a fastball. Napoli lined it the opposite way, into the first row of the seats in right field.

Napoli, who also homered off Tanaka at Fenway Park in late April, raised his right arm as he rounded first base and clapped his hands as headed for second.

Tanaka, the top winner in the majors and the AL ERA leader, turned to watch the ball sail, twisting his body when it cleared the wall.

“It was the worst thing I could’ve possibly done,” Tanaka said through a translator.

Tanaka wanted to take a different approach than catcher Brian McCann.

“He asked for a splitter and for a slider, and I shook off both of them,” he said.

Tanaka said he intended to throw a fastball out of the strike zone to set up a breaking ball.

Instead, Napoli hit it out of the park. His third home run in five games, and 10th shot overall, flew far enough reach the short porch.

“Power hitters are going to have the ability to hit to all fields. We all know that right field here is not very forgiving,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “Last night, they hit one in the first row. Tonight, we did.”

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