October 2, 2022

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Arroyo gets redemption with clutch homer

3 min read

BALTIMORE — Home runs are back for the slugging Red Sox. Well, it was just one. But it was a big one for a club used to smacking homers, and the blast helped to end a seven-day power drought.

More importantly, it led to Boston’s ninth win of the season. Christian Arroyo’s no doubt two-run shot early Friday night was the difference as the Red Sox held off the Orioles, 3-1.

Arroyo, making his second career start as the designated hitter, got a hold of Orioles rookie starter Kyle Bradish’s four-seam fastball in the top of the second and drove the ball well over the left-center-field wall. The big fly was part of a three-run rally the Red Sox used to win the series opener.

Arroyo’s first blast of the season traveled 408 feet at a launch angle of 29 degrees, with an exit velocity of 103.1 mph, was the Red Sox’s first round-tripper since April 22, and his first dinger since July 16, 2021 at the Yankees, a span of 50 at-bats.

“I think we can all agree that we thought [we] were going to go out in Toronto,” Arroyo said. “[I was] fortunate enough to put a good swing on a pitch up in the zone that helped us win the game. I wasn’t trying to think big thoughts or anything, just trying to find a barrel.”

Exactly one week ago, Rafael Devers’ solo shot helped Boston top the Rays in St. Petersburg. Arroyo doubled his RBI total for the season with his second-inning blast and insisted he wasn’t thinking homer when he stepped to the plate.

“Homers are part of the game that are always fun, right?” Arroyo said. “It’s funny, every time you think about hitting homers, most of the time you don’t. Maybe if you’re Rafael Devers, because Raffy’s Raffy. For me, I know that I can’t go out there and think of trying to hit homers. Sometimes I can think maybe getting on a ball and trying to hit a ball hard, but I’m not necessarily going out there trying to hit home runs.”

It was the Red Sox’s 12th homer of the season. The opposition has hit 23 homers off Boston pitching. Entering Friday, only the Tigers (8) and the Orioles (9) had hit fewer home runs.

Manager Alex Cora was happy for Arroyo’s redemption shot coming a day after his costly fielding error that helped Toronto score its only run in a 1-0 win over the Red Sox.

“I know he didn’t feel too great about what happened,” Cora said of Arroyo’s miscue Thursday. “He makes an error. We lose 1-0. That’s the beauty of baseball, right? You get a chance to redeem yourself and I’m happy that Christian put a good swing and helped us win the game.”

Arroyo was glad his manager stood up for him tonight, putting him back in the lineup as the designated hitter when J.D. Martinez (adductor strain) was held out for an additional game.

“It means a lot,” Arroyo said. “Wear my heart on my sleeve and I don’t like when I do stuff like that, especially when our team is grinding. It was crappy. It’s part of it. It’s baseball. It’s going to happen.

“But to come back out here today and just kind of flush it, start a new series, start a new day. Same thing is going to happen tomorrow. Today [has] already happened. Can’t think about that. Just got to go in tomorrow, new game, new game plan, come out, try to get another win.”

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