July 3, 2022

La Ronge Northerner

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Worcester makes his presence felt as he lights up the depth in the Red Sox's victory over the Tigers

Worcester makes his presence felt as he lights up the depth in the Red Sox’s victory over the Tigers

At the start of the season, the Red Sox were a heavyweight team with elite talent in the middle of the rankings, but the support team is lacking. Other performances by Rafael Devers, Xander Bogarts and JD Martinez in the first five weeks proved inadequate with the rest of the line-up offering nothing.

As spring turns into summer, the team’s rush to compete continues largely through the kind of inner depth that often distinguishes good seasons from the false promise of a hot start.

The Red Sox scored a solid 5-2 victory over the desperate Tigers Monday night in Fenway, led by a number of players that opened the year in Triple A. In the innings, loyal John Schreiber handed the exit key, defensive midfielder Garen Doran and first baseman Franchi Cordero led the attack Reach the base three times each – a spin while adding two steals and two runs, and a cordero while driving in a pair.

“They’ve been fantastic for us,” coach Alex Cora said of the reinforcements. “We are in a good place as a team and I think we are in a good place with the squad.”

Duran has shown a steady rest, and perhaps a promising glimpse into the Red Sox’s future, at the top of the squad. He led the first half with a five-pitch rally against Tigers player, Alex Faido, and stole second place, scoring one goal from JD Martinez to the right of center.

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After the Tigers leveled in the second half, Duran – in the midst of perhaps the most extensive game of his first major league career – ramped up attack again in the third. He jumped on a Faedo high slide to get the double floor base to the center right warning lane and sped home when Raphael Devers smashed a fastball to the right of center to double the RBI.

Yarin Doran was smiling after scoring in the third inning of Monday’s win over the Tigers.Jim Davis/Globe Stuff

It was Devers’s 41st major hit in this year’s extra leagues.

Later, Duran hit one left on a fastball away and stole a base at the back end for a double steal, ending the night 2 for 3 with walks and a pair of runs. The three times in the base correspond to the highest functional level, while the robbery was a new one.

“Just getting a base for the big guys, letting JD rack in the RBIs and getting a base for Devers, that’s all I want to do,” said Doran, who has made .310/.394/.517 in eight games. “I like to try to set the tone and if I keep doing that, I feel like I can probably run the rules insanely for these guys.”

The Sox kept the pressure against Faedo and the Tigers, adding a fourth in the fourth, then two more in fifth when Cordero dropped a single from two rounds to focus on left reliever Tyler Alexander to put the Sox ahead, 5-1.

Cordero tossed rockets around the field in his 3-for-4 evening, including a single rocket with an exit speed of 117.9 mph — a mark that only Giancarlo Stanton, Shuhei Ohtani and Vladimir have topped this year. Guerrero Jr

Franchi Cordero, seen here performing a one-of-a-two hit on Monday night, continues to mash up a baseball game.Jim Davis/Globe Stuff

“Rocket,” Cora said.

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This early offense proved big for the starter (2-1, 3.68), who shone for the second game in a row. The Right inspired poor contact from the Tigers throughout the night, allowing him to run twice on seven hits while only walking one and hitting two.

Winkowski mainly leaned on his mid-’90s heavy-hitter and slider, but mixed in a few four-tiered fastballs and tricky shifts (90 mph) to avoid becoming too predictable. Although he didn’t miss the bat, Winkowski avoided loud friction and kept his pitch count low, convincing Cora to leave him on the hill until seventh.

Although he faltered there allowing a two-stroke to run, the 23-year-old became the fourth Red Sox player since 2009 and the first since 2017 to reach seventh in one of his first three league games. The rookie credits catcher Cristian Vazquez with his shaky pace.

“Vazqy saw me more and more. When I go to throw, I really think of an idea. He called it almost every time,” Winkowski said. “It doesn’t happen often. Comfort level is definitely high. “

Jake Dickman replaced Winckowski with a man in second and two in seventh. Eric Haase drilled a steam liner from the left, but Alex Verdugo’s diving catch allowed Sox to escape with a 5-2 lead intact.

On the eighth, Matt Strahm allowed a single while recording two outs before Cora turned to John Schreiber, the preferred correct setting. But Javy Báez touched Schreiber for a double, put two and brought dazzling rookie Riley Greene to the plate as a potential link-up attempt.

Bravely, Schreiber froze Greene with a 95-mph fastball on the edge, then left a long line of stinging hands in the Red Sox’s lair with a succession of squawks.

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Tanner Hook, who scored saves on Friday and Sunday against the Cardinal, followed him for the ninth time, the first time in a right-hand man’s career that he had spent days in a row. Hawk proved no worse than a quick turn, as he topped out at 96mph for his fifth save.

The win was the Red Sox’s sixth in their last eight games, and the team left six games over 0.500 (37-31) for the first time this year. With the win, the Sox jumped over the Rays to finish third in the AL East, their highest in the division since April 22.

Alex Verdugo and Trevor Story celebrate an impressive sliding tackle by Verdugo in the seventh inning of Monday’s win over the Tigers.Jim Davis/Globe Stuff

Alex Speier can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at Tweet embed.