Enmanuel Valdez’s first HR of season could save Red Sox series vs Mariners

Boston Red Sox v Texas Rangers
Boston Red Sox v Texas Rangers / Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages

The Boston Red Sox spent much of their season-opening series stymied by the Seattle Mariners' elite pitching staff.

In the second and third games against Seattle, Boston's bats stalled against George Kirby and Logan Gilbert. In the third game, Tyler O'Neill drilled his second homer of the season against Bryce Miller, but an even more unexpected Red Sox broke open the score.

With runners on the corners in the fourth inning, Enmanuel Valdez took the plate. He mashed a home run to deep right field to give the Red Sox a three-run lead and their best chance to even the series. Valdez's ball went far — it landed halfway up the T-Mobile Park bleachers. He aggressively high-fived first-base coach Andy Fox's hand as he rounded the bag in celebration of Boston's biggest bomb of the season thus far.

O'Neill and Triston Casas waited at the plate after scoring their runs to shower Valdez in well-earned congratulations. Boston's backup second baseman looked hurt after he missed an attempted diving play on Josh Rojas' RBI single in the second frame, but Valdez traded his grimace for a smile after giving the Sox a big push at the plate.

Enmanuel Valdez lifts Red Sox lineup with a huge home run

The utility infielder has been starting at second base in Vaughn Grissom's stead as he rehabs a groin injury. Before Valdez's series-saving at-bat, he struggled at the plate and he went just 1-for-9 with two strikeouts. At 5-foot-8, Valdez doesn't look like a power hitter, but he's shown he can belt with the best of them when he gets the chance.

Valdez's homer helped wake up the Sox's bats and it hopefully signifies a reversal of fortune for the infielder. If he can be relied on for more consistent power in Boston's batting order, he may earn himself more appearances in the big leagues this season.

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