Valdez records 2-homer day vs. Tigers after call-up from Triple-A

Red Sox

“I feel like with the slow start, going down to Triple-A allowed me to work more on my craft,” Valdez said postgame.

Enmanuel Valdez recorded three hits, scored three times, and drove three runs for the Red Sox on Saturday. Barry Chin

Enmanuel Valdez started his first game for the Red Sox since May 1 on Saturday, and he certainly made his presence felt.

Batting fifth as Boston’s designated hitter against the Detroit Tigers, Valdez hit two home runs to help lead the Red Sox to a 6-3 victory. His first homer came in the second inning, traveling 399 feet into the bullpen to tie the game at one run apiece.

Valdez’s second long ball of the day barely got out of the park and past the fair side of Fenway Park’s right field Pesky Pole. The ball was hit just 318 feet and hugged the bright yellow foul pole to give Boston a 5-1 lead in the sixth. It wouldn’t have been a home run in any other MLB ballpark.

Valdez entered Saturday with just one home run in 2024. By the middle of the game, he logged his first career multi-homer contest and a personal-best three extra-base hits in a single game.

In between Valdez’s two dingers, the 25-year-old also logged a double in the fourth frame and eventually came around to score.

“I feel very happy to be able to help this team win,” Valdez said on NESN through a translator postgame. “For me to come today, help the team win, and do my part to help the team win, that’s big for me.”

Valdez began this season on the Red Sox’ Opening Day roster and started nearly every game for the team before being sent down to Triple-A Worcester on May 2. He played in 20 games in the minors and batted .230 with six home runs and 10 RBI before getting the call back up to the big leagues on May 29 when Tyler O’Neill was placed on the 10-day injured list.

Following his 3-for-4 day at the plate back in a Red Sox uniform at Fenway, Valdez talked about the work he put in over the last month at Triple-A.

“I wasn’t trying to do too much today. I feel like with the slow start, going down to Triple-A allowed me to work more on my craft,” he said. “To be able to come back today and slow things down, be able to hit the ball well today, it was very huge for me.”

Manager Alex Cora echoed a similar statement after Valdez’s statement game about how beneficial some time down in the minors was for the player.

“When we sent him down, he didn’t do anything wrong. He played well, put up good at-bats,” Cora told reporters. “He worked on a few things down there as far as timing, and staying close, not flying open. … This guy can hit.

“He comes from an organization that they do an outstanding job controlling the zone, and that’s what he does.”

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