He didn’t have a single home run and was batting .245 during the month of July until his manager switched up the lineup, taking No. 2 hitter Verdugo down a few spots.
Since the alteration on July 19, he’s come up clutch. Notably, Verdugo broke up a no-hitter against the New York Yankees to spark a five-run rally in the eighth to win Friday. On Monday against the Toronto Blue Jays, he came up with a game-winning, two-run homer.
So while Cora’s decision to tweak the order perhaps wasn’t great for his ego, it was for his game.
“Not necessarily do I like it for like, you know, my…” Verdugo said about the lineup, trailing off when he probably wanted to say as much.
“I like it because obviously I was struggling, you know what I mean? So it was warranted. It needed to happen. We needed just a little lineup switch and dropping down, I always say, for me personally, it makes me relax a little bit more, you know? You don’t have to have maybe as many at-bats or start it off and you know you just kind of work on getting that first hit.”
Batting sixth in the series opener against the Blue Jays, Verdugo was 2-for-4 with two runs and three RBIs, recording his 10th home run of the season.
His batting average is up to .275 thanks to the stretch with an OPS of .764, and importantly, the Red Sox earned their 33rd comeback of the season.
So does Verdugo enjoy his new found home in the lineup, or is he working to move back up?
“Obviously, my goal is to be back in the second hole, and to move back up but let’s just take it one day at a time,” Verdugo said. “Keep showing that I’m having good at-bats and good swings.”