Boston Red Sox: Alex Verdugo is Starting to Settle into the Two-Hole, Has Three Game Hitting Streak

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Boston Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo had a rough start to the 2021 season going 0-for-11 against the Orioles.  After Baltimore left town, Verdugo and the Red Sox bats began to heat up.  Verdugo is 5-for-13 with four doubles, one walk, two RBI and five runs in the following three games he’s played since.

Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo / Courtesy of Fansided

The 24-year-old sparkplug went 2-for-5 in the 7-3 win over the O’s on Thursday.  Since joining the Red Sox last season, Verdugo has gone from a platoon player coming back from a stress fracture in his back to an everyday player.

Verdugo comes into this season rotating between center and right field.  He will primarily be the Red Sox two-hole hitter this season.  During last year’s shortened season, Verdugo spent time as Boston’s leadoff hitter.  He slashed .304/.362/.442 with 13 doubles, two home runs, eight RBI, three stolen bases, and 12 walks in 152 plate appearances out of the No. 1 spot in Boston’s lineup.

In an interview on WEEI’s Ordway, Merloni andFauria, Verdugo was asked on whether he likes hitting out of the two-spot.

“I actually love the two-hole.  I love it,” Verdugo said when asked which spot in the lineup he favors most.  “I think the two-hole has always been a super comfortable spot for me to hit.  Obviously, I didn’t mind if I led off this year or not but it’s just something that I think [Cora] wanted to give a go and try.  I like it.  I really do.  I like the lineup.  I like the depth that we have from 1-9.  And I think wherever we hit, I hit, I think it’s all going to benefit us.”

Through the first six games this season, Verdugo has gone from 0-for-11 to now hitting .208. While his average is not eye popping, it is encouraging to see he’s getting into a rhythm at the plate.

In addition to Verdugo settling into the two-hole he is also getting time all over the Red Sox outfield. After the first week of the season, he is the only player to start each of his first three games in all three outfield positions.

Verdugo is expected to play a lot of center field after the departure of Jackie Bradley Jr. this offseason.  The former Gold Glove award winner spent eight seasons playing center field for Boston.  With the absence of Bradley, Verdugo and Kiké Hernández will split time in center field. 

“To me, it’s another outfield position,” Verdugo said in regards to center field.  “Everybody talks about how you have to be the fastest guy, all that.  I don’t believe in that.  I don’t think you have to.  I think it’s about your initial jumps, your reactions, and your routes to the ball.  I feel like I have good instincts out there.  And for the most part, I can read a hitter’s swing pretty well and know what our pitcher is trying to do and have a good idea of where I need to be.

The Red Sox will continue their series in Baltimore on Saturday following an off-day on Friday.  Garrett Richards will take the mound for his second start of the season looking for a better outing than last week.  The Orioles will counter with Bruce Zimmerman who got a win against the Red Sox in his season debut.


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Boston Sports Syndicate: Boston Red Sox: Alex Verdugo is Starting to Settle into the Two-Hole, Has Three Game Hitting Streak
Boston Red Sox: Alex Verdugo is Starting to Settle into the Two-Hole, Has Three Game Hitting Streak
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