Sandy Leon had a stellar night at the plate Tuesday.
The Boston Red Sox catcher went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles, a two-run home run, three RBIs and two runs in the Sox’s 8-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park.
Among Leon’s doubles was an unusual one thanks to a heads-up play. A chopper careened off pitcher Joe Biagini’s glove and trickled to the back of the infield, which Leon used as an opportunity to leg out a double given the ball was in no-man’s land.
After a slow start to April, Leon has been a completely different batter at the dish, due in part to lowering his leg kick, which has led to the switch-hitter’s strong month of May.
“(He) has been doing an outstanding job offensively,” Sox manager Alex Cora said after the game, as seen on NESN’s Red Sox postgame coverage. “His at-bats have been a lot better.”
Coming into Tuesday’s game, Leon was hitting .313 with a double, home run and three RBIs.
“I’ve been seeing the ball very well,” Leon said after the game. “Today I hit a double and a homer. I got lucky with the second double, but I’ll take it … I was just trying to put the ball in play and it went through.”
Starter Rick Porcello had high praise for his catcher, as well. And rightfully so considering Leon was responsible for five of Boston’s eight runs.
“He swung the bat great. He’s been swinging the bat well for a little while now,” Porcello said. “(He) caught a nice home run out front and a couple doubles, so it was a good night.”
Here are other notes from Tuesday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays game:
— Boston now is 21 games over .500 and have won eight of its last 10 contests.
— The Red Sox are 23-3 when they score the first run of the game, but Cora thinks the team is destined to do more.
“We feel we can do a lot better,” the skipper said. “We’re good right now, don’t get me wrong … We feel there’s room to improve.”
— Rick Porcello bounced back with 6 2/3 innings after being unable to make it out of the fourth in his last start.
“We needed that one,” Cora said of his starter’s outing. “He made some adjustments throughout the week and you can see it paid off.”
The right-handed pitcher cited three specific things he focused on over the last few days:
“Staying under control. Slowing it down, not getting ahead of myself.”
— Xander Bogaerts had a monster home run in the seventh that he sent over the Green Monster for his eighth of the year. Cora said although the shortstop’s average has “dipped a bit, as long as he can do damage, we’ll take that guy.”
— The Red Sox had six doubles Tuesday, tying a season-high after they did it earlier this month against the Baltimore Orioles. They lead Major League Baseball with 127 doubles.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images