Alex Verdugo had a highlight-filled day for the Boston Red Sox during Wednesday’s doubleheader against the Minnesota Twins.
“Like I’ve been saying all along, Alex is a good player. He’s a very solid player,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said during a postgame conference call after Boston’s ninth straight win. “I’m learning a lot about him. He can hit righties, he can hit lefties. He controls his strike zone. He knows his swing. A good defender.
“Overall a good, good baseball player,” Cora said.
The 24-year-old Verdugo was 3-for-4 at the plate with three RBIs and two runs scored during the second game. He connected on a two-RBI single in the fifth inning as the Red Sox batted around the order and put up six runs.
Verdugo then smoked a solo home run to right field to give Boston an insurance run in the seventh and final inning.
“I love it. I love the way he plays. His energy, everything,” starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez said on a postgame video conference. “So, he’s doing a really good job, especially today.”
Oh yeah, and that production at the plate came after Verdugo showed off the glove with game-saving catch in Game 1. Verdugo, playing left field at the time, made the catch with two outs in the seventh and final inning, preventing game-tying run to score from second. It ended the game.
Verdugo’s two-way play was the biggest bright spot for the Red Sox in a day filled with them. Cora, though, knows there’s plenty left for Verdugo to prove.
“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. “I do believe he still can get better. We still going to teach him how to play the game.”
Here are some other notes from Red Sox-Twins Game 2 of Wednesday’s doubleheader:
— Rodriguez, now 2-0 on the campaign, put together another solid start in his second game this season.
He went five innings while allowing five hits with just one earned run. A handful of that production from Minnesota, though, came in the first inning as they got Rodriguez for three hits and one run.
The left-hander bounced back and it just the latest pitcher to go five or more innings for the Red Sox.
“Obviously, in the first inning I was around the plate too much,” Rodriguez said. “So, I know the way we play the game right now we can score runs. So that was my plan after that first inning, try and go deep in the game, and being able to go five innings was good for me today. “
The last nine starts for the Red Sox have all been very promising.
— Cora expressed how Wednesday’s sweep was “very gratifying” for the organization.
“We did a god job. Overall, a great day for the Red Sox,” Cora said. “That’s a good baseball team and to win both games, win the series, it makes it special. We know we have a good baseball team and we have to keep working on it, and we have to keep getting better, but days like today, they’re very gratifying.”
— The Red Sox turned the game around in the fifth inning as they scored six runs on four hits and four walks.
Verdugo had a two-RBI hit while Rafael Devers, who batted twice in the inning, used his second at-bat to record a two-RBI single of his own.
“It was good. Good at-bats,” Cora said of the difference after the Red Sox were limited to one hit through three innings. “We started controlling the strike zone. and when we do that, we become more dangerous.”
— The Red Sox will face the Twins in the final contest of the four-game set Thursday with first pitch scheduled for 1:10 p.m. ET.