The Boston Red Sox flipped an offensive switch Friday during their 9-8 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays, after a frustrating-filled loss to the Toronto Blue Jays that saw Boston’s lineup squander several golden opportunities at the plate in high-leverage situations.
Prior to first pitch from Fenway Park, Red Sox manager Alex Cora said he “expected more homers” from his lineup, which currently ranks 19th among all big league clubs and sixth among teams in the American League.
En route to a night that saw Boston put nine runs on the scoreboard off 16 total base hits, the Red Sox lineup also managed to deliver two round-trippers in the process, courtesy of Franchy Cordero and Xander Bogaerts.
Cora made sure to tip his cap to the contribution-filled lineup following the victorious one-run affair.
“Good swings, good at-bats, hit the ball hard today,” Cora told reporters, per team-provided audio. “Better at-bats, that at-bat by Bobby (Dalbec) was huge. Coming in, pinch-hitting in the middle, after Franchy hits a homer. We really liked the matchup and we went there and it changed the game.”
Cora added: “Today was a good one against a good pitching staff. … For us to score nine, that was a good one.”
Here are a few more notes from Friday’s Red Sox-Rays game:
— Bogaerts, who played his 10th game against the Rays on, improved his batting average against Tampa Bay this season to .342 and his OPS to .997, totaling six extra-base hits when facing the division rival. Friday also served as Bogaerts’ fifth multi-hit game against the Rays this year.
— Kevin Plawecki, who provided two RBIs and finished 3-for-3, delivered his first three-hit game since July 22 against the Toronto Blue Jays — marking the 31-year-old’s second three-hit performance this season.
— Michael Wacha, who took home his ninth win of the season, allowed his first run against opposing hitters since being activated from the Red Sox’s injured list. Prior to Friday’s start against the Rays in which the right-hander allowed two home runs, Wacha had only allowed three at Fenway Park all season.
— Cora won his 345th game as Red Sox manager, which ties him for ninth in all-time wins at that position. His next victory will put him ahead of ex-manager Eddie Kasko (1970-1973), as reported by Red Sox senior social media manager J.P. Long.
— The Red Sox and Rays meet again on Saturday for Game 2 of the three-game set from Fenway Park. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. ET, and you can catch the game, along with an hour of pregame coverage, on NESN.