Thursday night was a coming out party of sorts for Trevor Story, as his bat led the Boston Red Sox to a 12-6 victory over the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park.
Story bookended an offensive explosion for Boston, belting two home runs in back to back at-bats in the second and third innings, before capping things off with a three-run shot in the eight.
“I told (Story) a few weeks ago… we trust you,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “He’s playing free and that’s something I told him in the recruiting process. You know, adding one more athlete to the lineup is going to help us.”
Between Story’s bookend homers, the rest of Boston’s offense chipped in, with each member of the lineup reaching base at least once.
“It’s pretty impressive. Saw a lot of things from everybody, and it was a fun night,” Cora said.
The offense couldn’t get the win by themselves, as Boston’s bullpen received a game saving performance from Tanner Houck, who used the game to test out a new slider grip.
“Been working on it, went out there feeling confident in it,” Houck told NESN’s Jahmai Webster postgame. “I truly love it. I love where it’s at now compared to where it had been.” Houck’s grip seemed to work well, as he worked four scoreless inning of relief, striking out six batters and allowing just one hit.
Rich Hill, who started the game for Boston but failed to make it passed two innings, giving up four runs, wasn’t pleased with his performance, but looks forward to making the necessary corrections moving forward.
“Fastball command wasn’t there,” Hill said in the clubhouse postgame. “You’re going to have those nights, but as a professional they eat at you… you just gotta put your head down and go to work.
Here are some more notes from Thursday’s Red Sox-Mariners game:
— J.D. Martinez saw his 34 game on-base streak end Wednesday, so he started a new one Thursday. The Red Sox designated hitter finished the night with four hits, including a double in the seventh inning.
— With his four-hit, three-homer night, Trevor Story added .107 points to his OPS.
— Story’s third home run on the night traveled 358-feet, his first home run that failed to travel more than 400-feet on the season.
— Seattle handed over some crucial runs late in the game, walking or hitting four straight Boston batters in the seventh inning, leading to three runs.
— In a strange moment, Mariners starting pitcher George Kirby was not allowed to leave the game after he had finished throwing warm-up pitches in advance of the sixth-inning. Instead, he was forced to face at least one more batter in Alex Verdugo, who ultimately spurned him for a double and scored the go-ahead run.
— Red Sox bench coach Will Venable took over first base coaching duty for Ramón Vázquez, who was off attending his son Nomar’s high school graduation.