Red Sox Notes: Alex Cora Issues ‘Cal Ripken’ Comparison To Infielder

'He's been tremendous since he came off the IL'

by

August 20

The Boston Red Sox didn’t utilize pitcher Michael Wacha as their only hero on Saturday in their 4-3 victory against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora made sure to address the hot streak at the plate from infielder Christian Arroyo, which has been crucial with the season’s end quickly approaching.

“Arroyo put a great at-bat and we got that insurance run,” Cora told reporters, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “He’s been tremendous since he came off the IL (injured list). Very solid, hitting the ball all over the place, playing good defense, and that was a good win.”

Cora added: “Like I always said, he was a high pick. Talented? Yeah, very talented. He can hit the ball out of the ballpark, he hits for average, he’s a good defender and all that. The problems? Obviously, the injuries. … Right now, I’ve been calling him Cal Ripken.”

Arroyo, who doubled in the ninth inning to plate the game-deciding run for the Red Sox on Saturday, is now slashing .333/.353/.606 in 10 games played this season against the Orioles — continuing to make the most of his time on the field following his battles with the injured list.

Arroyo continues what appears to be a never-ending stretch of dominance at the plate. The six-year veteran, who finished the contest 3-for-5, is now hitting .435 (10-for-23) with six RBIs and three runs scored in his last five games.

The latest Red Sox hero also chimed in on his efforts, which have proved to be among the most valuable for Boston this month.

“It’s always good to a couple of insurance runs across there,” Arroyo told reporters, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “I just try to come in and work my process every day and let the results just kinda happen. … It’s been good, obviously balls have been falling, but that’s part of the game. And I’m just gonna keep doing what I’m doing and just keep helping the team win any way I can.”

Arroyo added: “I think I’ve made some adjustments. Looking back at some videos. Some things, timing-wise that have helped me out a little bit, simplifying things.”

Here are more notes from Saturday’s Red Sox-Orioles game:

— Michael Wacha tossed 5 2/3 shutout innings, lowering his ERA to 2.28 following Saturday’s win. Dating back to the fourth inning of June 28 against the Toronto Blue Jays, Wacha has since delivered 14 2/3 shutout innings, with opposing hitters going 7-for-49 (.143 BA) in his last two outings with 14 strikeouts to just two walks — first pointed out by Red Sox senior manager of media relations and baseball information J.P. Long.

— Wacha is now listed among the top 10 in lowest ERA’s for Red Sox pitchers in their first 15 starts — sitting seventh with a 2.28 ERA while two-time World Series champ Tim Wakefield leads the list, per Long.

— Kiké Hernández, who delivered a crucial two-run home run in the sixth, last homered for the Red Sox on May 29 — also against the Orioles. After Saturday’s win, Hernández mentioned it was his father’s birthday, so he had to do something for him, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage.

— The Red Sox and Orioles finish off their three-game set in Williamsport, Pa. during Major League Baseball’s annual Little League Classic, broadcasted by ESPN. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET. The Red Sox return to NESN and Fenway Park on Tuesday, opening up a three-game series against the Blue Jays.

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