ON THIS DATE (April 30, 2018)
Xander Bogaerts (3-for-5) became the
latest to deliver four runs with one swing, and it was the biggest
hit in Monday night's 10-6 victory over the Royals.
In the bottom of the third inning, the shortstop
hit a mammoth shot against righty Jason Hammel that soared near the top
of the light tower above the Green Monster and on to Lansdowne Street to give
the Red Sox a 6-3 lead in a game they trailed 3-0 in the first.
The smash by Bogaerts was
his second grand slam of the season and sixth for the Red Sox, tying the 1996
Expos as the only teams in big league history to have that many before May 1.
Amazingly, the surge in slams comes on the heels of the 2017 Red Sox not hitting
any grand slams.
But the turnaround with not
just with grand slams but with overall power, has not come by accident. The
seeds were planted by the drills hitting coach Tim Hyers ran throughout Spring
Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez, Rafael Devers and Mitch
Moreland are the other players to hit grand slams for the 21-7 Red Sox through
the first 28 games of the season. Moreland (3-for-4, double, homer, three runs,
two RBIs) belted a solo homer in the second to give the Red Sox some life.
The first slam for Boston in 10 days was well-timed. For
this was not a pretty night for Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodriguez, who threw 35
pitches in the first, walked three and hit a batter to pin his team in a 3-0
hole before they took a swing. Hector Velazquez provided
a couple of big bridge innings (one hit, no runs, three strikeouts) to earn the
win, and the offense continued to add on.