Sandoval batted left-handed against a left-handed pitcher for just the fifth time in his eight-year career Sunday as the Red Sox defeated the Los Angeles Angels 6-1 at Fenway Park. It might not be a sign of things to come, though, as Sandoval said after the game he only batted left-handed because he still has discomfort in his left knee while batting right-handed and he still plans to switch-hit when healthy.
“If I’m OK, I’m going to bat right-handed (against left-handers),” Sandoval said.
Sandoval, who has been battling a knee injury since being hit by a pitch Tuesday against the Texas Rangers, began Sunday’s series finale against the Angels on the bench because left-hander Hector Santiago started for the Halos. Sandoval was 2-for-41 against lefties entering the contest.
Sandoval pinch-hit for Brock Holt in the eighth inning after Holt took a hot-shot ground ball off the forearm in the top of the frame. The Angels countered by calling upon lefty Cesar Ramos to relieve right-hander Cam Bedrosian, but Sandoval didn’t turn around and bat right-handed. Instead, Sandoval batted left-on-left for the first time since 2011 and lined a first-pitch RBI single into right field.
“It feels kind of weird (batting left-handed versus a lefty). But I got the job done,” Sandoval said. “That’s it. One of those things where you try to help your team win.”
Sandoval has looked bad batting right-handed this season, but the 28-year-old has said several times he has no plans to abandon switch-hitting. It appears that’s still the case despite Sunday’s injury-related experiment, though Farrell wasn’t too sure when asked about the hit immediately following the game.
“Whether or not we see more of it, I wouldn’t discount it. I wouldn’t rule it out,” Farrell said. “He’s still feeling some tenderness in the left knee when he’s hitting on the right side of the plate. But it was an opportunity to see him in that way and he gets a base hit. Hopefully it’s a sign of things to come.”
Sorry, skip. For now, Sandoval is sticking to his guns, health permitted.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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