Boston Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo couldn’t remember if he had ever had a day like Wednesday in his baseball career.
Verdugo, who played all three outfield spots during Wednesday’s doubleheader against the Minnesota Twins, was the brightest of bright spots as Boston extended its win streak to nine games with two victories.
Verdugo was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs during Boston 7-1 win in Game 2 and recorded two more hits in a 3-2 victory in Game 1. During Game 2, specifically, Verdugo smoked a solo home run in the seventh inning after a two-RBI single in the fifth.
“I just know I stuck with my same approach that I had all year and today was finally, found some holes and got some more barrels,” Verdugo said on a postgame video conference. “That’s the biggest key.
“I was not going to let him beat me,” Verdugo said about his fifth-inning hit. “… Good things happen when you put the ball in play.”
That performance at the plate was after Verdugo saved Game 1 for the Red Sox with a game-winning catch in left field. The 24-year-old prevented the tying run from scoring from second base with his two-out diving catch, which ended the game.
Reliever Matt Barnes was among the many Red Sox teammates who had celebratory reactions after the diving grab.
“It’s amazing,” Verdugo said of his own reaction to the catch. “I think, it was actually weird because it was one of those plays you think about right before it happens and it just so happened that it was exactly what I thought about. I knew the hitter. I knew he had been hitting line drives that way and he likes to go (opposite field) so I was already on edge with (Barnes) throwing hard and going to get after him.
“So, it was one of those, it kind of manifested in my mind and it came out and we made the play, held on to it,” Verdugo said. “Any game we get a ‘W’ and clinch one and don’t have to go to extras or waste any more arms, it’s a huge day.”
Red Sox manager Alex Cora was equally impressed with Verdugo’s two-way contributions.
“He’s still young, he’s still learning, but we’re very pleased with the way he’s playing the game right now,” Cora said on a postgame video conference.
Verdugo and the Red Sox will be back in action Thursday as they look for the sweep against the Twins with first pitch scheduled for 1:10 p.m. ET.