Holy hell did the Red Sox need that one.
After beginning the 2021 season with an 0-3 start at home for the first time since 1948, the Boston offense exploded and the pitching settled down a bit as the Sox grabbed their first win of the season. Xander Bogaerts keyed the 11-2 victory with a four-hit game, including a double that effectively became an inside-the-park home run after he scored on a fielding error.
The Red Sox also got a big hit from outfielder Franchy Cordero, one of the team’s key additions as the return in the Andrew Benintendi trade. Cordero launched a towering RBI double that scraped the Green Monster in the bottom of the second inning, which gave the Red Sox their first lead of the season. Bogaerts credited Cordero with giving the Red Sox offense the spark they desperately needed.
“I think as an offense, we weren’t doing as much in the last couple games, but I think him giving us that first RBI, I think that was one that we definitely needed to score first,” Bogaerts said (via Ian Browne at MLB.com). “I really believe that that RBI that he got us was key for us just to get that momentum going on our side and just getting everything going in a positive direction. So huge props by him, and I feel like everyone fed off of that and continued to contribute.”
The Red Sox’ top-4 hitters in the lineup – Enrique Hernandez, Alex Verdugo, J.D. Martinez, and Bogaerts – combined to go 9-for-17 with a home run and seven RBIs. Martinez belted his second homer of the young season. He’s 8-for-15 with two home runs and six RBIs so far, in what looks like a potentially big comeback year for him.
It’s still a marathon of a season, so it remains to be seen whether the Red Sox can keep it up offensively or whether they’ll have enough consistent pitching to contend in the American League. But it was a relief to see the team put together a strong performance for the first time.
Keep scrolling for the best photos from Monday’s game.
Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.