Alex Verdugo came through in the clutch with his glove in Game 1 of the Red Sox-Twins doubleheader Wednesday.
In Game 2, Verdugo delivered with his bat.
Boston and Minnesota were deadlocked at 1-1 in the top half of the fifth inning when Verdugo stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs. The 24-year-old worked the count to 2-2 and ultimately found a pitch he could do damage with, lacing a Tyler Duffey four-seam fastball into right field for a two-RBI single. The visitors opened the floodgates from there, cruising to a 7-1 win at Target Field.
Speaking with the media after the game, Verdugo explained his approach in the pressure-filled situation.
“Oh, I was not going to let him beat me, man,” Verdugo said, per MLB.com. “I had a pretty good swing at his curveball, and then I had a good swing at his fastball as well. So I saw both of his pitches, and at that point, being with two strikes, I was just like, ‘Hey, we?ve got to go.’ There?s no more trying to get that grand slam. There?s no more trying to do this or that. It?s, ‘Hey, whatever pitch you get, throw the head at it and you barrel it up.’
“Whatever happens, happens. And, you know, he threw me a heater in, and I was able to clear my hips and shoot it to right-center, and good things happen when you put the ball in play.”
Verdugo and the Red Sox will try to complete a four-game sweep of the Twins and extend their win streak to 10 on Thursday afternoon. NESN will have complete coverage of the series finale, with pregame action beginning at noon ET and first pitch to follow at 1:10 p.m.