BOSTON (CBS) — Alex Verdugo admitted it himself after the Red Sox’ 5-4 win on Monday night that it’s not too often that he gets the opportunity to stand in the box and watch a long bomb with a majestic flight path soar over the fence. More of a line drive hitter, such moments are few and far between.

“I don’t have too many homers in my career, so remembering them is pretty easy,” Verdugo said.

On Monday, though, Verdugo took all the time he wanted in soaking in the moment, as he belted a two-run bomb in the bottom of the eighth inning, turning a 4-3 deficit into a 5-4 lead against the Toronto Blue Jays.

While this one was a no-doubter for Verdugo, he did admit after the game that he got slightly nervous for at least a millisecond that his home run admiration was premature.

“Yeah, I hit it, and I’m not gonna lie, I said to the guys, if that wasn’t going out, that would’ve been one of the most embarrassing moments ever,” Verdugo said. “You know, because right off the bat, I felt like I got that one good enough, I felt like I barreled it, and the right launch angle, everything. So if that didn’t go, I would’ve been devastated. I would’ve just crawled in a little corner and stayed there.”

Of course, Verdugo’s smash didn’t just clear the wall; it cleared the bullpen. And with the lead intact, Matt Barnes entered in the ninth and retired the Blue Jays in order, needing just nine pitches to do so.

For Verdugo, it was his first home run since June 15, ending a stretch of 30 games (and 118 at-bats) without a homer.

“I wasn’t trying to hit a home run. I think I’ve been trying to hit my 10th home run for the last month and a half now. So really just I was going in there and not trying to do too much. And it’s ironic that that happens,” Verdugo said. “But I was just trying to see a pitch and get one out over the zone and put a good swing on it. He left the changeup out over, and I was able to get barrel on it, stay through it, and good things happened.”

Verdugo said that his emotional trot to first base happened both because of the impact in the game and as an eruption of emotion for finally hitting that 10th homer.

“Just running the bases, man, part of it was obviously the moment, putting us up in the lead right before the ninth inning. It’s huge. We want to win and that helps. And another reason was, man, I’ve been pressing about that 10th homer. Some of the guys thought I was never gonna hit it, man. And I started to believe in them, too. I was like I don’t think I’m gonna hit this 10th home run,” Verdugo said. “But I feel like now that I got the 10th out the way, I can really relax and just kind of stick with what I’ve been doing the last few days.”

CBSBoston.com Staff