Boston Red Sox: Homer happy Sox show no mercy on Blue Jays

BUFFALO, NY - JULY 21: Enrique Hernandez #5 of the Boston Red Sox hits a two-run home run in the third inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Sahlen Field on July 21, 2021 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - JULY 21: Enrique Hernandez #5 of the Boston Red Sox hits a two-run home run in the third inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Sahlen Field on July 21, 2021 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images) /

Remember how the Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the Toronto Blue Jays went on a home run derby against Boston Red Sox pitching at Fenway Park last time these two teams battled?

Well, the Red Sox flexed their muscles in Buffalo while completing a two-game sweep of the Jays with a 7-4 victory Wednesday night.

After the middle game of the series was postponed due to thunderstorms, the Sox batters continued their home run barrage with five homers after starting the series with six homers on Monday night.

Add that all up and that is 11 homers in two games.  I guess the Red Sox offense has awakened in a major way and leadoff hitter Kike Hernandez is leading the way.

Boston Red Sox outfielder Kike Hernandez solidifying the leadoff spot

With another homer to kick off the scoring on Wednesday night, Hernandez is obviously the team’s hottest hitter following the All-Star break and is on pace to 25 homers on the season.  When the leadoff hitter is putting together that kind of production, it sure becomes contagious for the rest of the lineup.

More importantly, according to Red Sox manager Alex Cora, it is his patience at the plate that has fueled his offensive success this season.

"“He’s working counts, he’s hunting pitches in certain spots and he’s putting good swings on it,” Cora said following the game, as transcribed by  “That [home run] was a great at-bat, 0-2 count, gets on top of the fastball and the ball goes out of the ballpark.”More from Chowder and Champions3 Patriots on the Bubble Who Have Clinched Their 53-Man Roster Spots3 Midseason Chaim Bloom Decisions That Have Killed the 2023 Red Sox10 Patriots Who Will Be Cut by Tuesday’s Roster DeadlineMLB Screws Red Sox Fans With Broadcast for Mookie Betts Return3 Most Underpaid Celtics Heading Into the 2023 Season"

The 355-foot two-run homer off the bat of Hernandez not only started the scoring but was just the start of another home run barrage by the Red Sox in Buffalo.  Along with Hernandez, Hunter Renfroe, J.D. Martinez, Rafael Devers and Michael Chavis.

Boston Red Sox strike zone: Garrett Richards trending in the right direction

In an up-and-down season, Boston Red Sox starter Garrett Richards appears to be trending back in the right direction.

In scoring a win against a tough Blue Jays lineup, Richards gave up just one run in five innings before burning out in the sixth inning, giving up back-to-back homers.  Fortunately, the offense and bullpen was there to pick him up as he recorded his sixth win of the season.

Now that he seemingly got that MLB crackdown on foreign substances out of his head, his performance on the mound the last couple starts is promising both to the player and his manager.

"“(He) pounded the strike zone, changing speeds, using both sides of the plate,” Cora said following the game, as transcribed by NESN.  “That’s a tough lineup.  You saw what happened there.  Two pitches, two outs and then a walk, a homer and a homer and they’re back in the game.  His velocity was good.  The conviction of his pitches was great – a lot of conviction behind them.  We love what we saw.”"

In mixing up his pitches, Richards has seemed to find his grip on the mound and get results.  He better because there are two pitchers in Tanner Houck and Chris Sale coming for his spot in the rotation.

Boston Red Sox manager minute: Alex Cora a ‘great communicator’

It’s simple, Alex Cora is a big reason why the Boston Red Sox have the best record in baseball with a 58-38 record following the 7-4 victory in Buffalo.

A big reason for that is his lack of fear in making necessary changes and how he relates to players in doing so.  With the offense sputtering coming out of the Bronx, Cora made some lineup changes that got results.

The bats woke up and as Kike Hernandez expressed after the game, it’s the confidence he injects in players that get favorable results.

"“It’s obviously huge,” Hernandez said Cora’s impact, via  “He’s a great communicator.  He always finds ways to make time for everybody, have everybody feeling comfortable [and] confident.”"

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That comfort and confidence has certainly led to this team’s resiliency.  Every time it seems the Boston Red Sox are headed in the wrong direction; Cora pushes the right buttons to get them back on track.

You gotta love that!