The Red Sox received a much-needed offensive boost from Bobby Dalbec on Tuesday, and it helped Boston earn a 4-2 win over the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. It was a seventh consecutive victory for the Red Sox, and their fifth win in a comeback effort.
And they couldn’t have done so without the 25-year-old Dalbec, who certainly hasn’t started his 2021 campaign as he envisioned.
Dalbec on Tuesday, though, recorded two hits and two RBIs in three at-bats. He recorded both the game-tying and eventual game-winning RBIs. It was Dalbec’s second multi-hit game of the season and he literally doubled his total RBIs in the one game.
“I was trying to use the whole field,” Dalbec said on a postgame video conference. “He left a couple balls over the plate, I think the one (J.A.) Happ gave me was up… (Randy) Dobnak, I was trying to stay inside of something, get something out over and trying to put a good swing on a good pitch.”
Dalbec connected on a double to right field to score Christian Arroyo from first base to tie the game 2-2 in the fifth inning. Dalbec then returned to the plate in the eighth and did pretty much the exact same thing, a double down the right field line scoring Arroyo from second.
“With Bobby, we saw the contact the last game in Baltimore and it was just a matter of time,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said on a postgame video conference.
“It’s like everybody else, when you control the strike zone and you control your aggression in the strike zone, you’re going to see results,” Cora added. “We trust the player. We trust him. We know there’s going to be a few days that he might swing and miss a lot, but we do believe that he can make adjustments and he can go the other way. That’s the most important thing with him: He drives the ball to right center. So, today he stayed with the plan, he was very disciplined and you saw the results.”
That trust seems to have gone a long way with Dalbec, who lined out to right in his other at-bat.
“It’s more mental for me. I think when I’m in a good spot mentally my swing cuts down on its own,” Dalbec said. “If I go in there trying to swing easy I’m going to end up being a little bit lazier and be late. It’s more of my mental intent on how I attack each pitcher.”
Here are some other notes from Red Sox-Twins:
— Martin Perez kept the Red Sox in the game Tuesday en route to another solid showing.
Perez finished the day giving up just four hits and two earned runs in five innings of work. It wasn’t a day where Perez showcased his best stuff — two strikeouts, 49 strikes in 88 pitches — but all in all was a gutsy effort in a game with unusual conditions.
The left-hander stranded one runner at third in the first inning, one runner at second in the second and one runner at third in the fourth.
“He did an outstanding job,” Cora said. “He gave us a chance to win the ballgame today.”
Perez now has given Boston five innings in each of his two starts while not allowing more than three earned runs in either contest.
— Rafael Devers recorded his fourth home run in as many games Tuesday.
It was a much-needed insurance run, too, as it came with the Red Sox clutching onto a one-run lead in the top of the ninth inning.
— Arroyo joined Dalbec as the only other Boston player with multiple hits.
He slapped a two-out single to center field before scoring in the fifth. The second baseman then doubled to right field in the eighth before scoring from second on Dalbec’s second double in the game.
“Christian, he turns a double play, he’s playing great second base, the at-bats are getting better and better,” Cora said of Arroyo. “All around a great baseball game. That was fun to watch, to be part of it. Now we move on to a double header tomorrow.”
— The 7-3 Red Sox will play a double header in Minnesota on Wednesday after Monday’s postponement.