Potential Red Sox All-Stars ‘set the pace’ for solid first half

Alex cora knows the Red Sox would be far from where they are without the heart of their batting order, and he’s happy to see them recognized.

Alex Verdugo, JD Martinez, Alex Bogaerts and Rafael Devers were the basis for the success of the Red Sox, who returned to first place in the American League East on Monday. All four deservedly qualified for the second phase of the all-star vote this week, and Cora specifically credited Martinez, who rebounded from his terrible 60-game season in 2020, for being the backbone of their early start. .

“Everyone had question marks, doubts about who he was going to be,” Cora said. “He hit that game against Tampa, the ball over the right fielder. He knocked on the house in April. I think that gave us the tempo. They came out of the door swinging the bats.

“Usually Raffy is a slow starter. He had an excellent first half. Pitching too. But I immediately believe those four, the way we scored in Baltimore after sweeping the Rays, and then we went to Minnesota and kept doing things, confidence and all that. But they set the pace.

The second phase of the all-star vote began at noon Monday to determine the starters, who will be announced on Thursday. Bogaerts and Devers were the top voters at shortstop and third base, respectively, during the first phase as the two most offensive categories in the American League took their positions.

“It’s really good. These guys, they’ve done an amazing job throughout the season,” Cora said. “… For Alex to be recognized too, that means a lot. Hopefully the four and obviously on the pitching side, we might get a few as well. It’s a great recognition, especially with the two guys, Raffy and Xander, to be recognized as one of the best in your position. They’re not under. -praised or unpopular It’s a good feeling.

Renfroe’s winning place

When Renfroë Hunter was signed last offseason, there was no guarantee he would be an everyday player, but mostly he’s been a lock in Cora’s lineup map this season. The right fielder made his 68th start of the season (in 79 games) on Monday as his bat and glove continue to be a major asset for the Red Sox.

Since the start of May, Renfroe’s OPS has fallen from 0.485 to 0.774, and his batting average has dropped from 0.167 to 0.268 on Monday, as he leads the majors with 11 assists.

“He’s a guy who, yeah, he had power, we envisioned him, but he becomes a good hitter, holds onto right-handed people, goes the other way, takes shots when he has to,” Cora said. “It’s more about him than us. He won his playing time. He earned his place in the roster. He actually gives us balance. A guy right behind Raffy who can lead in the rosters. races, can go grassroots, has power, he’s been amazing for us.

Arroyo, Plawecki soaring

Christian Arroyo (bruise on the right tibia) and Kevin plaecki (left hamstring sprain) everyone remains on the injured list but may be progressing even faster than expected. They were both hitting Monday during batting practice and moving well, and Plawecki caught Chris Salebullpen session live this weekend.

“They feel better,” Cora said. “It feels like it’s going to be something short and that they should be with us as soon as possible.”

Verdugo was not in Monday’s lineup for a routine day off. Devers took his second place in the batting order, while Marwin González started in left field. …

The Red Sox announced Monday that tickets for the second half of the season – home games from July 22 to September 26 – will go on sale Friday at 10 a.m.

André Benintendi is still on the injured list with a broken right rib, so the former Red Sox outfielder will almost certainly not return to Fenway Park for this week’s four-game streak with the Royals.

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