Maybe that will get the Indians slugger going again. He was just 2-for-22 (.091) in his previous six games. Despite the mini slump, Napoli has seven homers and 18 RBI in July. He is slashing .246/.329/.486 with 23 homers, 70 RBI and 62 runs in 362 at-bats this season.
The slugging first baseman has displayed some excellent plate discipline over the last week, drawing eight walks over the last five games while only whiffing twice. Belt has only homered once since June 20, however, and is hitting just .222 in July. While the current month has easily been his poorest of the season, Belt has a chance to quickly turn his fortunes at the plate around if he continues to exhibit the same patient eye of recent contests.
Moreland's game-winning in the bottom of the ninth was his 17th of the season and put him on pace to set a career high in dingers this year. The first baseman has put on a fireworks show of later, blasting six longballs in his last 12 games. Moreland's OPS is up to .777, its second-best mark of 2016, and the best since mid-April.
Gonzalez exited Friday's game with hand soreness and although the injury doesn't appear to be serious, he'll likely need a game or two off to recuperate. In his place, Tyler White is starting at first and batting seventh. Gonzalez will resume a 12-game hit streak when he returns to action.
He came off the bench Thursday and Friday, suggesting the foot injury was nothing serious, and the issue can now be officially put to rest with Johnson returning to the lineup for Miami. Johnson is now back to being a short-end platoon option, with Derek Dietrich taking over as the starter against right-handed pitching until Justin Bour (ankle) returns from the DL.
The veteran infielder has enjoyed a stellar season for Tampa, with a .312 average and .912 OBP among his solid numbers. Pearce joined the Rays on a bargain one-year, $4.75 million deal in the offseason, and expresses an affinity for his tenure with the team despite their overall struggles, which he feels don't accurately reflect the club's overall talent level. "We've just been hit with injuries and bad luck all year, " he said. "If you would've told me this would be our record in the middle of the year, I'd tell you you were crazy. There's no way our team is as bad as our record reflects. We have a really good team. I believe we still have a good team. We're going to have a good team in the future. And I hope I stay."
He's been held out of the starting lineup for the past five games, but has shown well off the bench in back-to-back efforts. With Dee Gordon back and Derek Dietrich now spending some time at first base, it appears Johnson has been relegated the weak side of a first base platoon. Further complicating the situation is the impending return of Justin Bour (ankle), but Johnson will continue to be the preferred option against left-handed pitching.
It seems as though Rizzo will be getting a rare day off during Saturday's matinee against Wade Miley and the Mariners. The slugging first baseman hasn't missed a game since June 24 when he was battling back stiffness, but will be replaced in the field by Willson Contreras, while Ben Zobrist moves into the third spot in the order.
The slugging first baseman helped to break the game wide open with his sixth-inning, bases-loaded two-bagger, plating Jon Lester, Chris Coghlan and Kris Bryant. Rizzo came up with the bases jammed again in the seventh, and his double play groundout allowed Matt Szczur to score on a fielder's choice. The 26-year-old has enjoyed a solid July, raising his average 18 points since the first game of the month.
Carter's first-inning blast was all the Brewers needed on a night when their starter, Junior Guerra, twirled a doozy over 8.2 innings. It was Carter's 23rd homer of the season and his first since July 8. The first baseman's .217 average leaves much to be desired, but he's now on pace to challenge the 40-homer mark, a feat that would also set a career high for the 29-year-old slugger playing in his seventh MLB season.