Franchy Cordero came through in the clutch when his team needed him most Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox outfielder connected on a walk-off grand slam home run in the 10th, as the Red Sox defeated the Seattle Mariners 8-4.
“That’s one of those big moments (in my career,” said Cordero, through a team interpreter. “It’s really close to my debut in the big leagues, but I’m really happy to contribute to the team.”
The blast capped a wild five-run rally, which included a close play at the plate robbing the team of victory just moments earlier, making his home run trot even sweeter.
“I was super excited so see the boys jumping around,” said Cordero. “I’m excited and super happy for this moment.”
The way the team rallied was gratifying for Red Sox Manager Alex Cora, whose club clinched its fifth straight victory, a season best, in front of 33,896 in attendance.
“That was good to see,” said Cora. “We got great at-bats in that last inning. Going the other way, hitting the ball hard, getting in front of the plate, that was part of it, but overall, a great homestand and a great game.”
The Red Sox opened the game shorthanded, with Boston’s everyday designated hitter J.D. Martinez scratched due to back spasms. Christian Arroyo was thrust into the lineup. The Sox backup didn’t disappoint, hammering a solo home run off Mariners starter Logan Gilbert over the left field wall in the second, giving Boston the 1-0 lead.
Gilbert was touched up for another run in the third. Xander Bogaerts lofted a sacrifice fly to right plating Kevin Plawecki for a 2-0 cushion.
Meanwhile, Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi was mowing down the Mariners. The 6-foot-2, 217-pound righthander held Seattle to four hits and a walk in 6.2 innings of work, fanning 11, including five in a row.
Seattle second baseman Adam Frazier finally got to Eovaldi in the sixth, wrapping a two-run homer around the rightfield foul pole, tying the contest at 2-2.
Sox second baseman Trevor Story quickly answered back in the bottom of the frame with a solo monster shot to retake the 3-2 lead.
Adam Frazier seemed to provide Seattle with a little salvation. The Mariners second baseman went 3-for-5, with a two-run homer, before lacing the go-ahead RBI hit in the tenth.
Trailing for much of the contest, Seattle was looking for a jolt, and got just that from third baseman Eugenio Suarez. The M’s infielder crushed a solo home run off Red Sox reliever Hansel Robles in the top of ninth, tying the game.
And when Frazier laced an RBI single in the tenth, the Mariners grabbed its first and only lead.
According to Cordero, he felt no pressure stepping up with Martinez out of the lineup.
“I just wanted to have good contact with the ball and try to reach base,” Cordero said. That’s been my approach all year and I wasn’t going to change today.”
According to Eovaldi, Cordero is an easy teammate to root for.
“He’s unique,” said Eovaldi. “He’s quiet in the clubhouse but then on the field where he’s doing the waving and breaking the bad spirits. He had the big hit last night, and we feed off that stuff.”
“We all saw the struggles he had last year,” Eovaldi added. “To see him be able to turn it around playing first base or outfield. He’s having quality at-bats whether he’s getting walks or the big hits. Everybody is a fan of him and I’m happy that he’s having success.”
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