BOSTON (CBS) — Christian Arroyo has had some big swings for the Red Sox in the month of June. His mammoth cut against the Braves on Wednesday night was not just his biggest swing of the month, but of Boston’s season.
Arroyo smacked a pinch-hit grand slam in the top of the seventh inning in Atlanta Wednesday night, turning a 7-6 Boston deficit into a 10-7 lead. The Red Sox hung on for a 10-8 victory for a two-game sweep over the Braves, improving to 42-27 on the season.
Arroyo’s slam was Boston’s first of the season, and it was a dandy. He took a 1-2 cutter from Braves lefty A.J. Minter and crushed it 467 feet to left field to clear the bases. There was zero doubt about the ball leaving the yard when it left Arroyo’s bat.
“I had been preparing all game. I knew the potential of who I was going to face, which was going to be a lefty and I tried to look at as many lefties as I could just to see pitch shapes again,” Arroyo said after the win. “Just went in, tried to be as prepared as I could be and just grind out an at-bat and try to help the team.”
— Red Sox (@RedSox) June 17, 2021
“I like the fact he went out there swinging,” said Boston manager Alex Cora. “Sometimes when you pinch-hit, you put yourself in a hole. But the first pitch, even though it wasn’t a competitive one, he swung. Then he got a cutter, a slider down in the zone and put a good swing on it. He’s been doing that the whole month.”
Initially, Cora had sent up switch-hitting utility man Danny Santana to hit in the pitcher’s spot, but after Atlanta brought in a southpaw in Minter, Boston’s skipper pulled an audible and sent up Arroyo. Based on how the second baseman has been swinging the bat recently, it was a grand switch.
Arroyo now has four homers in June, three of which have come in the last week. And all three of those have been of the clutch variety that helped lead Boston to much-needed wins. Last Thursday, it was a three-run jack against the Astros to tie things at 7-7 in the fifth inning, in an eventual 12-8 Boston victory. The very next night, Arroyo went deep for an eighth-inning solo bomb to pull the Red Sox even with the Blue Jays, with Alex Verdugo hitting a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth for a 6-5 win.
The wins haven’t always been pretty, but they have certainly been a lot of fun for both the spectators and players involved.
“This is why we play the game; we play the game to win and we play the game to have fun. And when you’re doing both of them, everything is great,” said Arroyo. “I’m not going to try to ride the highs too hard and I’m not going to try to ride the lows too low. I’m going to keep having fun. My motto has kind of become ‘I’m just livin,’ and that’s it. Living in the moment and just playing.”