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    Will Middlebrooks, Mike Napoli share award

    They had it together at the plate

    Mike Napoli (left) and Will Middlebrooks each had 4 HRs and 9 RBIs in being named AL Co-Players of the Week.
    Seth Wenig /associated press
    Mike Napoli (left) and Will Middlebrooks each had 4 HRs and 9 RBIs in being named AL Co-Players of the Week.

    TAMPA — Red Sox infielders Will Middlebrooks and Mike Napoli were named the Co-Players of the Week in the American League.

    Middlebrooks was 13 of 28 with a double, four home runs, nine RBIs, and eight runs in seven games. He led all major league hitters with 26 total bases.

    Napoli was 10 for 21 with two doubles, four home runs, and nine RBIs. His 1.143 slugging percentage led the majors.


    Middlebrooks, who turned 25 Monday, has hit .368 with a 1.055 OPS in 26 games since being recalled from Triple A Pawtucket Aug. 10. His batting average has climbed from .192 to .245.

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    On Sunday, Middlebrooks homered off Yankees closer Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning to tie a game the Red Sox went on to lose, 4-3. It was only his second career at-bat against Rivera.

    “Always a guy who obviously is hard to hit. He is who he is,” Middlebrooks said. “He gave me a real good pitch to hit 1-and-0 and it was middle and I swung under it and I had thought to myself, ‘That was the one pitch I was going to get to hit.’ ”

    This marks the second time this season Red Sox teammates have been Co-Players of the Week. Napoli and righthander Andrew Bailey shared the award for the week ending April 21.

    Affiliates advance

    Pawtucket advanced to the International League finals with a 3-0 victory against Rochester Sunday. The PawSox start the best-of-five Governors’ Cup series in Durham, N.C., Tuesday.


    Pawtucket, the defending champion, will host Durham in Game 3 Friday night at McCoy Stadium. Games 4 and 5 also would be at McCoy if necessary.

    Single A Salem is a win away from claiming the Carolina League championship. The Salem Sox lead Potomac, 2-0, in the best-of-five Mills Cup series. Game 3 is Tuesday night at Salem.

    Salem has won 10 straight games and 15 of its last 16.

    Feeling better

    Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who missed five games with a sore lower back, was 0 for 4 with an RBI Sunday. After the day off Monday, he expects to play Tuesday against the Rays.

    “I felt good,” said Saltalamacchia. “At this point you’re never going to be at 100 percent. But a lot better than where I was at.


    “At this point, you want to stay healthy. You want guys to go out there. We still have a lot of games left and you can’t take any of them for granted.”

    Ortiz Gala is set

    The inaugural David Ortiz Children’s Fund Gala will be Sept. 16 at the Four Seasons ballroom in Boston.

    The event is expected to draw some of the biggest names in Boston sports and entertainment.

    Standard ticket packages include an open bar, a Dominican-style dinner, and a seat in the ballroom for the evening’s festivities.

    VIP tickets will include a special cocktail hour with Ortiz and other celebrities. Ortiz said his Red Sox teammates have been invited to the event.

    “I’ve had events in the Dominican before, but I wanted to do something in Boston,” Ortiz said. “It was important for us to do that. Hopefully people will support what we’re doing.”

    The Gala directly benefits the David Ortiz Children’s Fund, which partners with the World Pediatric Project to provide critical pediatric health care in the Dominican Republic.

    In 2009, the Fund joined with Massachusetts General Hospital for Children to help provide care for children in New England.

    Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 212-727-2142.

    Peter Abraham can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.