BRADENTON, Fla. -- Jarrod Saltalamacchia had been struggling this spring at the plate, hitting just .077 (1-for-13) with five strikeouts before Wednesday.
But in the span of a couple of at-bats, Saltalamacchia was feeling much better about his spring.
The Red Sox catcher belted an opposite-field double to lead off the second, then added a two-run homer to right, scoring Adrian Gonzalez ahead of him.
"I was lacking at-bats, so I've been trying to get some more here and there,'' said Saltalamacchia. "I felt good today. Me and (hitting coach Dave Magadan) have been working on certain things, trying to stay on the ball a little more and I was able to do it today at the plate.''
Saltalamacchia knew he had been struggling, the result of getting underneath the ball too much.
"The bat head was dragging,'' he said. "We've been working on trying to get the head (of the bat) out and stay on top. If I roll over, if I ground out, that's OK, at least it's not a pop-up. But when I get to two strikes, I've been trying to figure a way to keep the ball on the field instead of striking out.''
As it turned out, the double came with two strikes and the fact that Saltalamacchia was able to drive the ball the other way was another bonus.
"I stayed through a good fastball,'' he recounted. "My main goal was to work on my two-strike approach and make sure I put the ball in play.''