The Boston Red Sox suffered a frustrating 4-2 loss Friday night, but there were some positive takeaways from the series opener against Kansas City Royals.
Rafael Devers picked up another extra-base hit with a double off Royals ace Jason Vargas, and Brandon Workman looked very sharp once again out of the bullpen. But arguably the most positive takeaway was Eduardo Nunez’s Red Sox debut.
Nunez, who Boston acquired via trade with the San Francisco Giants earlier this week, was the lone Red Sox hitter to record a multi-hit game as he went 2-for-3 with a walk. The veteran infielder, who took over the designated hitter duties Friday, lived up to Red Sox manager John Farrell’s expectations.
“As advertised, he’s a guy that’s going to be a very aggressive hitter with great bat-to-ball skills,” Farrell said, as seen on NESN’s Red Sox postgame coverage. “He worked out a walk, got a couple of base hits, both hard ground balls up the middle of the field. I thought he swung the bat as we had hoped. A very good first showing for Eduardo.”
Nunez isn’t the type of player who is going to blow you away, but his skill set and versatility should immensely benefit the Red Sox down the stretch. With Xander Bogaerts struggling, Nunez could alleviate some stress by filling in at shortstop. And while Devers has impressed in his first three games, you can expect to see Nunez log plenty of time at third base.
Nunez doesn’t provide a powerful bat, but his offensive approach mends well with Boston. Adding a player with a high contact rate to the top or middle of the lineup should help the Sox rise from their current offensive slump. Farrell has expressed the team’s need to string hits together, and the arrival of Nunez should help that case.
Here are some other notes from Red Sox-Royals.
— The Red Sox’s loss was matched with a Yankees win over the Tampa Bay Rays, which vaulted New York into first place in the American League East. It’s the first time since June 21 that Boston hasn’t held at least a share of the division lead.
— The Royals continue to be one of the hottest teams in Major League Baseball, as their win marked their ninth consecutive victory. After starting the season 10-20, Kansas City now is just 1.5 games behind the Cleveland Indians for first place in the AL Central.
— Mookie Betts logged an RBI single, but he also swelled a rather unfortunate stat.
— Rick Porcello’s lack of run support continued. The right-hander tossed seven innings, but the Red Sox only scored one run while he was on the mound.
— Chris Young launched a triple in his 1-for-3 effort at the plate, and it had been quite some time since the veteran outfielder recorded a three-bagger.
— Mike Moustakas’ three-run home run proved to be the difference in the game. With the blast, the Royals third baseman became the fastest player to reach 30 home runs in a season in franchise history.
Thumbnail photo via Instagram/Red Sox
Powered by WordPress.com VIP