It can be argued that Boston Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo put forth his career-best offensive effort on Wednesday night against the Toronto Blue Jays.
With the Red Sox bullpen continuously allowing the Blue Jays to climb back into the game, it took two swings of the bat for Verdugo to produce four of Boston’s six runs, just enough to help them squeak by Toronto to salvage a win in the finale of their three-game series.
The performance seemed to be the cherry on top of a tremendous month for Verdugo, who believes he’s found the right approach moving forward.
“I feel like for me, when I’m right, It’s my approach,” Verdugo told NESN’s Jahmai Webster, as seen on the network’s postgame coverage. “When it’s solid, I feel like I’m a very hard out. When I’m trying to lean on a fastball or produce damage, I feel I’m an easy out. They catch me reaching, they catch me in between pitches.
“When I’m just trying to use the whole field, you know, it gives me the best chance to be on the heater and be on the off-speed pitches as well.”
Verdugo will finish the month of June slashing .337/.400/.905 with three home runs and 19 RBI. Manager Alex Cora likes the adjustments that he’s seen out of the 26-year old.
“He’s been making adjustments and he’s been swinging the bat well the last few weeks,” Cora said, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “In Cleveland, (Toronto), he’s slowing down the at bats, hitting the ball hard. We know this guy is a great hitter. He’s an old-school type of hitter, but at the same time he can catch up to the fastball.”
Here are more notes from Wednesday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays game:
— The Red Sox and Blue Jays took part in an old-fashioned brouhaha early in this contest. Boston pitcher Nick Pivetta hit Toronto catcher Alejandro Kirk with a fastball, which led to a benches-clearing discussion that resulted in warnings being issued to both teams. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. seemed to be the reason why the benches cleared, as he immediately targeted Pivetta.
— Nick Pivetta gave the Red Sox his customary 6+ inning, sub-three-run performance. He did so while surviving a 30-pitch second inning. He was given plenty of praise by Verdugo following the game.
“We came out here, got a big pitching performance by Nicky P,” Verdugo said. “You know, he kept us in the game against their ace, right? So it was just a good job all around.”
— Jackie Bradley Jr. is mired in an 0-for-26 streak at the dish. His last hit came on June 19 against the St. Louis Cardinals, and his last road hit came on June 11 against the Seattle Mariners.
— The Red Sox and Chicago Cubs will open up a three-game series on Friday night at Wrigley Field. First pitch is set for 2:20 p.m. ET. Full coverage of the game will be on NESN following an hour of pregame coverage.