The Boston Red Sox continue their hot June stretch and are now in sole possession of second place in the American League East and first place in the AL Wild Card race.
Rafael Devers has been the star for the Red Sox during their hot stretch, but Alex Verdugo has been riding the hot wave as well, and as NESN broadcast analyst Will Middlebrooks said before June, “don’t let Dugie get hot.”
The Red Sox left fielder is currently on a six-game hitting streak, and in those six games, he is batting .348 with eight hits and three extra base hits to go along with six RBI and five runs scored. The highlight of the hitting streak was Verdugo’s three-run home run in the top of the sixth inning against the Guardians on Saturday night.
“Yesterday was definitely one of those days where I kinda like, dang, I feel like myself again — the rhythm at the plate, being able to see the ball deep and at the last minute, put a swing on it, hit it down the line, or if it’s an off-speed pitch hit it to right,” Verdugo told NESN’s Jahmai Webster on the network’s postgame coverage. “I definitely felt a lot more like myself yesterday, and today was kind of more of the same thing — just trying to carry over that feeling.”
The homer was the difference in Boston’s 4-2 win over Cleveland. The Red Sox have now won seven consecutive series and are 11-1-2 in their last 14 series. In the month of June, Boston are 18-4, and going back to May 10, the Red Sox are 31-12, stats courtesy of Red Sox senior manager of media relations and baseball information J.P. Long.
Here are more notes from Saturday’s Red Sox-Guardians:
— Red Sox manager Alex Cora said Verdugo’s approach in his at-bats in Friday’s game against the Guardians contributed to his “best game of the season.” Verdugo’s fifth home run of the season went 447 feet, just one foot short of the longest homer for the Red Sox this season — Franchy Cordero owns that honor, per MassLive’s Christopher Smith.
“There’s a reason he’s hitting in that spot right behind those big boys (Rafael Devers, J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts),” Cora told reporters, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “He’s a good hitter. We know that. He understands the strike zone. Yesterday was really good. Today, obviously, a big swing that was huge for us, but little by little, you can see the quality of the bats and him understanding who he is in the lineup, which is very important.”
— Tanner Houck got the save for the Red Sox. The right hander is now 6-for-6 in his save opportunities since becoming Boston’s defacto closer.
— The Red Sox had two doubles on the night; Boston continue to lead the majors in the category with 170 — the teams tied for second, the Atlanta Braves and the Toronto Blue Jays, sit at 137 doubles on the season.
— Devers only had one hit against the Guardians, but the third baseman remains the major league leader in hits at 93.
— The Red Sox will go for the sweep Sunday against the Guardians at Progressive Field. First pitch is scheduled at 1:40 p.m. ET, and full coverage of the game will be on NESN following on hour of pregame coverage.