After primarily batting out of the six and-seven hole to begin his Red Sox career, Alex Verdugo will be batting leadoff for Boston against the Blue Jays on Saturday night.
The 24-year-old went 2-for-3 with a pair of home runs and a pair of RBI in Friday’s victory over Toronto, raising his OPS on the season to .927 through 11 games played thus far.
Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke had teased the idea of Verdugo batting leadoff sometime soon during his pregame media availability on Friday. Now, that possibility has become a reality following the Arizona native’s most impressive performance with Boston to this point in time.
Prior to coming over to the Sox, Verdugo only started one game as a leadoff hitter with the Dodgers, which came against Matt Grace and the Washington Nationals last July. He went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts in that contest.
Against Chase Anderson, who the Red Sox will be facing to begin things on Saturday, Verdugo is 1-for-1 with one career home run off the veteran right-hander.
As for how the rest of the Red Sox will be lining up against Anderson and behind fellow veteran right-hander Zack Godley in this one, Rafael Devers will follow Verdugo, while Andrew Benintendi, who had served as Boston’s primary leadoff hitter, has dropped down to the No. 7 spot.
Among the other six hitters in Saturday’s lineup, Jose Peraza has seen Anderson the best, as the 26-year-old is a lifetime .333/.368/.667 hitter in 18 career at-bats against the Blue Jays starter.
First pitch Saturday is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. eastern time on NESN and WEEI. Red Sox looking to string together three straight wins for the first time this season.