Enmanuel Valdez hits 2 home runs because the Red Sox beat the Tigers 6-3

Red Sox

BOSTON (AP) — Enmanuel Valdez hit two home runs and scored three runs in his first profession game to guide the Boston Red Sox past the Detroit Tigers 6-3 on Saturday.

The Red Sox improved their record to 32-9 – and to 17-5 over the past two years – and have worn their City Connect uniforms, featuring shiny yellow jerseys and powder blue lettering, numbers and caps, since their introduction in 2021.

Boston centerfielder Ceddanne Rafaela made a spectacular dive and full catch on Wenceel Pérez's throw within the gap between the center and right-handed hitters within the sixth inning and turned it into an inning-ending double play by throwing his ball to second base, allowing Matt Vierling to make a double play.

“I feel like you can see the reaction of all the guys in the dugout, tipping their caps and stuff,” winning pitcher Cooper Criswell said when asked concerning the players' response to the catch. “That's something special. Not many guys out there make a play like that.”

Gio Urshela hit a two-run homer against the Green Monster for Detroit, which lost to Boston for the twelfth time in its last 14 games.

“It was a big game. I don't know if it was a turning point.” Tigers manager AJ Hinch said of Rafaela's catch. “The ball looked down from every angle but for him. He makes a great play and makes a double-off. … That was a big change.”

Shortstop Javier Báez made an excellent play for the Tigers within the eighth inning when he grabbed a grounder from Reese McGuire after which threw the ball to first base.

Valdez's big game got here a day after Rafaela also hit two home runs in Boston's 7-3 win, making it his first profession multi-home run game.

By scoring a run each within the second, third and fourth innings, the Red Sox took a 3-1 lead after Riley Greene's RBI single gave the Tigers the lead after two batters.

Valdez sent a fastball from Reese Olson (1-6) into Boston's bullpen to tie the sport within the second inning. He hit a two-run shot that snuck into the Pesky Pole to make it 5-1 within the sixth inning.

“It feels great to hit a ball around the Pesky Pole,” Valdez said through a team interpreter. “I think I hit the ball hard, too. It was caught at over 100 miles per hour. Catching one is awesome.”

After his worst start of the season, when he allowed seven runs in 4 innings on Memorial Day in Baltimore, Criswell (3-2) allowed one run in five innings, recorded five strikeouts and walked one.

Olson allowed five runs in 5 1/3 innings. In his previous six starts, he had never allowed multiple run and posted an ERA of 0.77.

In the third inning, Dominic Smith scored the deciding point with a grounder that hit the fielder's selection.

McGuire's sacrifice fly — which got here after left fielder Greene caught the ball by jumping right into a low wall in foul territory after which falling to the bottom — made it 3-1.


Tigers: OF Mark Canha, who was briefly out Friday with left hip soreness, participated in an indoor workout Saturday. “All good so far,” Hinch said about two hours before the primary pitch. “The next step will be to play a little more on the field and see if he's available (Saturday) into (Sunday).”

Red Sox: Manager Alex Cora said OF Tyler O'Neill, who has been on the injured list since May 26 due to right knee soreness, ought to be back when he can come back from the injured list next Wednesday. O'Neill got a cortisone shot Thursday. … Cora also said starter and Friday's winner Tanner Houck was OK after being hit within the throwing arm a day earlier. … DH/OF Masataka Yoshida, who has been on the injured list since late April due to a left thumb sprain, made a BP Saturday. “I think he's over the hump and we're just going to hit it,” Cora said, adding that he's expected to make a BP “any day.” … 2B Vaughn Grissom left the sphere with a right hamstring strain after hitting a groundout within the second inning. … 3B Rafael Devers fouled a ball on the within his right leg within the third inning, went down, but stayed in.


Tigers RHP Casey Mize (1-3, 4.71 ERA) is scheduled to start out the series finale against RHP Brayan Bello (6-2, 4.18) on Sunday.

image credit : www.boston.com