Red Sox Notes: Alex Cora Praises First-Inning Approach In Win Vs. Blue Jays

Boston scored five runs on six hits in the first inning alone

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The Boston Red Sox put their offensive struggles from one night prior in the rearview, and instead showcased an approach and productivity which paid dividends in their 7-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Boston’s first five batters each recorded hits to start off the game as the Red Sox scored five runs on six hits in the first inning alone. Oh yeah, and two of those hits were back-to-back home runs by Alex Verdugo and J.D. Martinez.

It was a beautiful sight to see for Red Sox manager Alex Cora.

“We put good at bats from the get-go,” Cora said on a postgame video conference. “Enrique (Hernández) stays back on a breaking ball, puts it in play and gets a hit. Alex (Verdugo) with a home run. J.D. (Martinez) goes the other way with a homer. We kept adding on. That was a big at-bat, and people probably don?t really think how big it was, was Christian (Vázquez), right? Second and third, puts the ball in play, RBI, got the runner over and Bobby (Dalbec) with a double.”

Boston finished with 13 hits as a team. Hernández finished with three hits — including a second-inning home run — and was just a triple short of the cycle. Verdugo, Bogaerts and Devers had two hits apiece.

“It was a good approach,” Cora said. “Loved the fact Raffy (Devers) went the other way a few times. That’s important. Bobby did the same thing. Overall, offensively, it was a good night.

“? They saw what happened last night (a 8-0 loss), they adjusted to it and they come out swinging today.”

Here are some other notes from Red Sox-Blue Jays:

— Garrett Richards earned the win after allowing just two runs in 6 2/3 innings. He bounced back in a big way after allowing a walk, two doubles and another walk before he recorded an out in the first inning.

He got out of the jam after giving up just one run and proceed to strike out five while allowing seven hits and four walks.

“Today wasn’t great in my eyes, I’d still like to limit the walks and throw more strikes and go a little bit deeper in the game, but it was a good battle day,” Richards said on a postgame video conference. “Didn’t necessarily feel like I had my best stuff, but was able to make it work.” 

— The Blue Jays made a major base running error in the first inning when lead-off man Marcus Semien overran third despite being given the stop sign by his third base coach. Semien was ultimately thrown out retreating to the bag and instead of the Blue Jays having two runners in scoring position with nobody out, they were left with one runner on second with one out.

“It’s a head up play by Marwin (González),” Cora said of the assist. “He didn’t commit. He saw it and he threw it behind and it was a huge play for us. A huge play for us.”

Richards added: “That’s on them, but we’ll gladly take it.”

— Christian Vázquez hit his third home run of the season and first since April 7 in the eighth inning. Cora was all the happier to see it since Vázquez had went 3-for-25 since May 10 entering Wednesday.

“Hopefully this is the beginning of something good for him,” Cora said. “He’s working the count, he’s getting to hitters’ count, but he’s expanding a little it. He’ll get in trouble there, but that was good to see.

“It was a big home run right there, big run for us,” Cora added. “In these conditions every run counts. For us to be able to use (Adam) Ottavino there (eighth inning), he did a good job. And then (Josh Taylor), try stay away from (Matt Barnes), that was huge.”

The Red Sox will look to win the three-game series Thursday with first pitch set for 7:37 p.m. ET.

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