It may be only one game but the Red Sox finally found their stride for the first time since the All-Star break. After scoring only six runs against the Yankees, the bats came alive in the opener against the Toronto Blue Jays. The offense smashed 6 home runs en route to scoring 13 runs, included eight in the first inning. It was the most runs the team had scored since scoring 11 against the Phillies on July 9. The 13-4 win brought ease to fans who were ready to panic after a ten-game stretch where Boston went 4-6.
With seven guys collecting a hit on the day, almost everyone contributed to the offensive outburst last night. J.D. Martinez went 4-for-4 with two doubles and Hunter Renfroe hit a gram slam. Both are two players worth mentioning. That said, there are two guys that should be highlighted for their performances last night: Jarren Duran and Kiké Hernandez.
Another First for Jarren Duran
With the offense going quiet for about a week, manager Alex Cora decided it was time to shakeup the lineup. Cora dropped the struggling Alex Verdugo down to the sixth spot and moved rookie Jarren Duran up to second. The move immediately paid off as Duran hit his first career home run in the first inning to put the Red Sox up 2-0.
Duran certainly was not the difference-maker in this game but it’s sure nice to have another capable bat in the lineup. It was no accident the Red Sox called him up right after the All-Star break. After a hot start, guys started to cool off and stopped hitting. Hopefully Duran’s inclusion in the lineup serves as a wakeup call for the rest of the lineup going forward.
Big Day for Hernandez
While Duran may have gotten the offense going, it was Kiké Hernandez who was the hitter of the night. Hernandez went 3-for-5 with two home runs, raising his total to 13 on the season. After being reinserted as the leadoff hitter on June 27, Kiké Hernandez has been a completely different hitter. In his last 18 games, Hernandez is hitting .279 and has an OBP of .401. After toying with different guys in the leadoff spot, it seems Hernandez will be answer going forward.
Yankees Fan Banned from All Ballparks
Before yesterday’s game, the Yankees announced that the fan who threw a baseball at Alex Verdugo will be banned from all MLB stadiums for life. The Yankees released a statement saying, “While the Yankees appreciate the spirit and passion of our fans in our various rivalries — especially with the Red Sox — reckless, disorderly and dangerous behavior that puts the safety of players, field staff or fellow fans in jeopardy will not be tolerated.”