A few notes/thoughts from the Red Sox' series opening 9-6 victory over the Athletics on Monday night:

--Not since Adrian Beltre in 2010 have the Red Sox had a right-handed hitter with as much raw power as Mike Napoli. Remember when Beltre wowed his teammates by launching home runs from one knee? Napoli nearly did the same in the fifth inning, when his fourth career grand slam stretched a 4-3 lead into a 9-3 advantage. “It’s like watching (Josh) Hamilton when I played with him (in Texas),” Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said. “It’s impressive. And it’s tough to pitch to that. When you’re a catcher, you’re like, ‘Gosh, what do I throw here?’ If you throw a curve, you’ve got to make sure it’s in the dirt, otherwise he’s going to hit it a mile. It’s great to have him in our lineup.” Added outfielder Daniel Nava, “It’s awesome. Everyone wishes they could do that, but we know that we can’t. So, you just enjoy it and you say, ‘Man, I’m glad that guy’s on my team.’” More in Tuesday's Herald on Napoli, who leads the majors with 25 RBI and is six shy of Manny Ramirez' club record for RBI in April.

--Think Will Middlebrooks was desperate to bust out of his 4-for-43 slump? The third baseman got a crew cut and even started wearing different spikes. "Anything you could think, I tried to flip flop it," Middlebrooks said. "It worked." Indeed, Middlebrooks belted a three-run homer in the fourth inning, his first extra-base hit of the season while playing on U.S. soil. Middlebrooks' two doubles and other four homers came in Toronto.

--For years, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel contended Gold Glove center fielder Shane Victorino's best position was really right field. And the Red Sox' primary attraction to signing Victorino in December was getting a defender with enough speed and a strong arm to patrol Fenway's spacious right field. Thus far, Victorino hasn't disappointed. His latest stellar defensive play came in the eighth inning. With the Red Sox leading by three runs and the A's threatening with the tying run at the plate, Victorino tracked Eric Sogard's drive to deep right field, hauling it in and stealing a potential extra-base hit. “They said a good defensive right fielder has helped them in the past, especially playing at Fenway,” Victorino said. “I take pride in that part of the game. Plays like that may look tough, but I felt like it was just another play. It may not have been routine, but I felt like it was. Just had to run that ball down.”