BOSTON — Justin Turner basically blended in during his first season with the Red Sox, striking out every at bat and hitting his share of key hits while providing the drive everyone expected in the dugout and in the club.
But on Friday night, the red-bearded warrior catapulted to the fore of baseball’s most famous rivalry with an emphatic display of offense as he compiled a double, a two-run homer, and grand slams in the first three innings of 15 Finals. -5 defeat over the Yankees at Fenway Park.
It was a great showing, especially for a Boston team that has been battling for runs and wins lately.
For director Alex Cora, it felt like the first day of summer.
Finally, Cora said. “I think this is probably the hottest [home] The game we’ve played all season. Every game we played seemed to be in the fifties, and today, it feels like summer. You know how to play here in the summer and you’ll carry the ball. And the guys did a great job of putting pressure on them [Domingo] German. We’ve done some great things. We press their defense. We were really good tonight in attack.”
However, the hitting heroics of the 35-35 Red Sox fell flat when starting pitcher Tanner Hawk hooked under the right eye on a leadoff line off of the Yankees’ Kyle Higashioka to start the fifth inning. Hook came out under his own power. The initial diagnosis is that Hawkeye has a facial contusion. Right got stitches in the garden and then went to a nearby hospital for observation.
When Hook left, the Red Sox held a 13-1 lead, thanks to damage suffered by Turner and Co. In six games from June 7 to June 12, the Red Sox never scored more than one run.
On Friday, they walked out of the gate with four consecutive multi-punt innings, with Turner in the middle of most of them.
“Obviously to everyone, it was just a good offense all the way,” Turner said. “And using the whole field, too. Left-handed hitters bounced the beast all night for nine innings and found ways to get on base. I think 15 saves and 17 hits, that’s a good offense.”
Fittingly, Turner got the Red Sox’ first hit of the night, a double to left field that helped set up Masataka Yoshida’s double on the Monsters. Yoshida went 4-for-4 with three RBIs, marking his first game with four hits in the Majors.
Later, the Sox returned for two more runs, both of which came on Homer Turner in the first row of the Monster benches. In the third, Turner unloaded her majestic grand slam that hit the top of the back wall behind the center stands, stunning a statcast from 429 feet.
“I haven’t seen so many guys go up there,” Cora said. “Obviously it’s around ’07, ’08, Manny [Ramirez] used to hit it there. That ball went off. That was a nice swing.”
Buoyed by his best night of the season, Turner has a .278/.356/.451 hitting streak with 10 homers and 36 RBIs.
It stands to reason that these numbers will improve as the weather continues to become more favorable for hitters.
“I talked to Dustin Pedroia about it a little bit and he talked about the difficulties of hitting the first couple of months,” Turner said. But if you can keep your head above the water once the weather changes and warms up, that’s a great place to hit it. Obviously, this was one of those warmer nights when the wind was blowing a little bit.
“And you see a lot of those catches last month and early in the year were coming off the wall and I was lucky to get [the first] more than. I don’t know if it helped the second one, I got that really well.”
Although Rafael Devers and Yoshida are the Boston hitters and the opposition will focus more on trying to stop, Turner will still be tough in his own way.
“You see the numbers,” said Cora. The number of impressions per panel. He walks. It’s a good way to play but we know when the ball starts to load, he’ll see [more results]. He’d be fine in the power department, but at bat, he’s just a good thing. It’s a really good game.”
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