The long ball was cooking at Camden Yards this weekend, with the Boston Red Sox clubbing nine home runs over a three-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles.
But one home run stood out, not only as the clutch moment in the Red Sox’s 8-6 extra-innings win on Sunday, but as perhaps one of the top feel-good moments for Boston this season.
Marco Hernandez, who missed all over last season after suffering a shoulder injury in 2017, drilled his first home run of the season to bring the Sox back from the dead and tie the game 3-3 in the ninth inning.
The 26-year-old infielder sat back on a Mychal Givens changeup and sent it into the Orioles bullpen in left center field.
It was just the second home run of his career and his first in over three years. His first came on May 30, 2016 … at Camden Yards.
After the game, Hernandez revealed his plate approach and reacted to the clutch moment.
“Nothing special. (Givens) is pretty tough to hit. Same ballpark. Different pitch,” Hernandez told Guerin Austin on NESN’s postgame coverage. “I mean I feel pretty good to be back here. I feel healthy, 100 percent to help the team win.”
It’s been an incredibly long and rocky road for Hernandez to return to the Red Sox’s roster. And he’s filled in nicely when needed, batting .250 through Sunday.
Here are some other notes from Sunday’s Red Sox-Orioles game:
— Both teams combined to use 15 pitchers on Sunday.
Boston used eight arms to combine for the win as Matt Barnes was the only active reliever that was not used.
— Rafael Devers continues to mash.
The third baseman rocked the go-ahead home run in the 10th inning, belting a 1-0 fastball from Givens 458 feet to make it 4-3 in the 10th. It surpassed his previous longest home run, which was 445 feet. It’s also the longest opposite-field home run of the season.
— Jackie Bradley Jr.’s hitting streak continues.
The centerfielder has hit safely in seven straight games after roping an RBI double in the fourth inning on Sunday. He is hitting .279 so far in June and has raised his batting average 67 points since May 19.
— Red Sox pitchers combined to throw four wild pitches.
The fourth wild pitch, an 0-2 slider that got away from Marcus Walden, allowed Jonathan Villar to scamper home and tie the game 2-2 in the eighth.
— At four hours and 45 minutes, Sunday stands as the Red Sox’s longest game this season.
— The Red Sox have matched their longest winning streak of the season with this five-game stretch.
They sit 5 1/2 games behind the New York Yankees in the American League East as they head to Minnesota to face the Twins, who hold the best winning percentage in baseball.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images