J.D. Martinez, Christian Vazquez and Xander Bogaerts weren’t out there slugging Tuesday against the Minnesota Twins, but the Boston Red Sox offense was able to survive with a 4-2 victory nonetheless.
It was, in large part, thanks to those down the lineup like Bobby Dalbec, Christian Arroyo and Hunter Renfroe. And that was a great sight to see for Red Sox manager Alex Cora.
“I think between Hunter (Renfroe), Franchy (Cordero), (Bobby) Delbec, Christian (Arroyo), we feel from top to bottom we’re good, but that?s a game-changer,” Cora said on a postgame video conference.
“I do believe we’re going to hit for power at the bottom of the lineup, but at the same time, when the game is on the line, we can put good at-bats,” Cora said. “That’s the most important thing.”
Dalbec had arguably his best game of the season with a two-hit, two-RBI performance. The first baseman tied the game in the fifth inning with an RBI double and then had what proved to be the eventual game-winning RBI on another double down the right-field line.
Arroyo, who was the only other batter with two hits, scored both runs on Dalbec RBIs. The second baseman slapped a two-out hit in the fifth before scoring from first. He connected on a one-out double to deep right in the eighth before scoring from second with Dalbec up next.
Renfroe had started the two-run fifth inning with a two-out home run to center field.
It was quite the production from the seven (Renfroe), eight (Arroyo) and nine (Dalbec) batters.
“I think it can be a dangerous lineup in any part of it, especially when everyone is clicking,” Dalbec said on a postgame conference call. “So, just next guy up trying to compete, get the guy who’s up next, give him a chance. Arroyo did a good job today, Renfroe did a good job today with that homer. So, just try to build off each other, pass it along.”
Of course, that part of the lineup was complemented by a scorching hot Rafael Devers (four home runs in last four games), who connected on a ninth-inning homer. But with leadoff man Kike Hernandez, Alex Verdugo, Martinez and Bogaerts, the top four in the order, going a combine 1-for-15, it was extremely impactful to get offense from elsewhere.
The Red Sox were able to do that Tuesday, and it’s led the group to be having an encouraged feeling heading into Wednesday’s double-header against the Twins.