Former Sahuaro High School standout Alex Verdugo, in his first year with Boston after the trade that sent Mookie Betts and David Price to the Los Angeles Dodgers, notched his first three hits with the Red Sox today.
Verdugo, a 2014 Sahuaro graduate, played in his first game with the Red Sox, starting at right field and was No. 6 in the batting order. He went 3 for 4 with an opposite-field single to left field in the fourth inning for his first hit with Boston in a 7-2 loss to the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park. He also had singles in the sixth and eighth and scored a run.
Verdugo requested the umpires to retrieve the ball of his first hit with Boston.
RELATED: Alex Verdugo credits his parents for his developing into a Major League Baseball player.
Alex Verdugo knocks his first hit as a member of the Red Sox. First of many? pic.twitter.com/5HOTVSfHrG
Verdugo, a left-handed hitter, now has 128 hits in 447 at-bats in his 159 games as a major-leaguer. His career batting average is .286. He played parts of the previous three seasons with the Dodgers.
Verdugo made headlines in Boston on Opening Day on Friday night when he and teammate Jackie Bradley Jr. both took a knee during the national anthem. Third base coach Carlos Febles and first base coach Tom Goodwin also knelt.
“Just me personally, I felt like that was the right thing to do,” Verdugo was quoted as saying by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo. “I have all the respect in the world to everybody, the veterans and everybody who has fought for our country and put their lives out there. I think me kneeling was more just to show there’s injustice and inequality going on in the world. I felt like it was important for myself, and just to have Jackie and to have everybody know personally where I’m at and where I stand.
“I think there’s a lot of things that need to be addressed and I wanted to bring attention. That’s all. I wanted to use my platform to have a little bit of awareness and maybe help out a little bit.”
In today’s game, Verdugo had an intense conversation with the umpires at the top of the ninth inning.
He explained it as a “miscommunication” when he was on second base but visiting with Boston’s third base coach at third in the bottom of the eighth when Baltimore’s reliever was warming up. He mistakenly stayed at third base instead of returning to second when the pitcher was ready. The umpires yelled at him to get back to second.
“I could have stole that bag if I wanted it that bad, you know what I mean?” Verdugo said with a smile.
Alex Verdugo is a maniac and I love it pic.twitter.com/m33MVqkqHZ
Quote of the day from Alex Verdugo: ‘Man, I could have stolen that bag if I wanted it that bad.’ pic.twitter.com/RVCpNsjPjE
Across the field, Santa Rita graduate Anthony Sanders is in his first year as Baltimore’s first base coach. Sanders spent the time off earlier this summer in Tucson training his three sons after COVID-19 cut short spring training in March.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.