Daniel Nava turned up the heat on Baltimore first. In the sixth inning of Wednesday's 6-5 victory over the Orioles, the Red Sox outfielder clobbered a solo shot, marking the team's first home run of the game.
On the ensuing at-bat, Kelly Shoppach took a cue from Nava. The catcher –– who like Nava entered the game with one long ball –– crushed Orioles reliever Luis Ayala's fastball into the left-field stands.
Two innings later, Scott Podsednik went yard in his second game for Boston. It was the outfielder's first major-league home run since Sept. 6, 2010, when he was a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
For one game, the Red Sox' 7-8-9 hitters stole the spotlight. It all started with Nava, who entering this season was only known for belting a grand slam on the first pitch of his first career at-bat.
"We know that we have guys above us that can swing it," Nava told reporters in Baltimore. "There's not pressure for us to have to step in and be the guy, because of our lineup, because of what they can do. And that allows you to play your game and not try and do too much."
Now, Nava has unloaded two homers in 40 at-bats and Shoppach, who hit a rare homer off a righty, has two long balls in 57 at-bats. It's an impressive output, considering the array of talent stacked on the Red Sox roster.
"The coaching staff prepares these guys," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine told reporters after. "No matter where they are, where they're playing defense, they're out there playing comfortably, their at-bats are pretty comfortable because Dave [Magadan] prepares them well."
One of the most impressive aspects was Podsednik's contribution. Just a week and a half ago, the 36-year-old was toiling in Philadelphia's Triple-A organization, looking at an uphill climb back to the big leagues.
After the Red Sox acquired him on May 11, Podsednik received a second life. He responded right away in Pawtucket, hitting .323 with one homer and one RBI before earning a call up on Tuesday.
The fact that Podsednik has now clubbed two homers in the last 10 days –– in Triple-A and the majors –– is a pleasant surprise for the Red Sox since he's only hit 47 career homers in his 10-year career.
That's why Wednesday's victory is attributed to the team's role players.
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