Home News Enrique Hernández, Alex Verdugo rob home runs from Rays

Enrique Hernández, Alex Verdugo rob home runs from Rays

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BOSTON — The Red Sox took a big step forward from their recent defensive struggles with two home run robberies in the early innings of Monday afternoon’s contest against the Rays.

With one out and a runner on first in the second, Luke Raley ripped one to right-center and Kiké Hernández roamed back, timed his leap perfectly and extended his glove over the bullpen wall to reel back the potential two-run homer.

According to Statcast, Raley’s 103.3 mph drive with a launch angle of 32 degrees and a projected distance of 398 feet would have been a home run in 24 of 30 MLB parks, including Fenway. Of course, Hernández made those metrics moot with a nifty grab. Impressively, it was Hernández’s first appearance in center field since April 22. He has been playing shortstop for the most part.

Alex Verdugo, on the other hand, has been stationed exclusively in right field this season, and he looked at home while making his robbery in the top of the third.

With one out, Francisco Mejía lofted one toward the corner in right. Verdugo artfully dodged the hands of a fan in a Red Sox jersey who was waiting for a souvenir. Verdugo took it right from the fan and out of the home run column for Mejía. A wide smile came over Verdugo’s face after the play, which kept the game scoreless.

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