Sox' faith in young hitters pays off

Sox' faith in young hitters pays off
May 15, 2014, 8:00 am
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Before Wednesday's game, John Farrell spoke about having patience with the three young players in the lower third of the batting order -- Xander Bogaerts, Will Middlebrooks and Jackie Bradley Jr.

Each has his struggles at times, but Farrell said the Sox were sticking with the trio, noting at one point: "These are our guys.''

As if to repay that show of loyalty, the trio contributed in ways big and small to the Sox' 9-4 win over the Twins on Wednesday night.

Bogaerts had a single and a double with a run scored. Middlebrooks knocked in a run in the fourth. And Bradley, though hitless, had some good plate appearances.

"Bogey took some good swings tonight,'' said Farrell, "and I thought Jackie had some good swings even though he didn't have much to show for it. Will gets an 0-2 curveball that he hits the other way for an RBI. So it's good to see some life come into those guys. And not only that, but maybe some results that can reinforce things with what they're going through at the plate right now.''

Bogaerts hit two shots in his first two plate appearances, and was rewarded for them, after making some loud outs in the last week as part of a 2-for-15 road trip.

"I had great at-bats,'' said Bogaerts. "I worked the count and tried to get my pitch and try to put good swings on them. You get a few knocks, definitely your confidence is going to go up, especially when I've been hitting the ball hard these last few days but didn't get any results.''

Bogaerts also started a nice double play to end the seventh, gloving a ball hit by Joe Mauer, navigating some tricky footwork to step on the bag and firing to first to get the Sox out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam.

"That was a huge one,'' admitted Bogaerts. "You never want an inning to get out of hand and have them score two or three runs right there. It was good to shut them down.''