Red Sox Notes: Blake Swihart Taking Advantage Of Increased Playing Time

Blake Swihart was the hero on a night he wasn’t even in the starting lineup.
The Red Sox catcher came in during the 10th inning as a pinch-hitter, but it was the 13th when he made his plate appearance count, knocking a ground-rule double to right-center field to give Boston a 2-1 walk-off win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday night at Fenway Park.
It’s been a bumpy season for Swihart, who didn’t see much playing time at the beginning of the campaign.
“Everybody knew what was going on early (with Swihart). It was tough to play him,” Sox manager Alex Cora after the game, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “We had three catchers and it’s tough to play three catchers at the big-league level.”
Cora noted he thought the 26-year-old was “trying to do too much” when he got the chance to play, but after Christian Vazquez went down with a broken pinky, Swihart got a second chance.
“There’s no panic anymore. He gets ahead in the counts, he’s putting good at-bats. I think his swing is back to what it was in spring training,” Cora said “… He’s taking advantage of it. I’m very happy for him.”
It was a rare quiet night for many of the Red Sox’s heavy hitters, with Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, J.D. Martinez, Mitch Moreland and Xander Bogaerts all going hitless. But the bottom of the order came through big for Boston, accounting for all seven of the team’s hits.
“We find ways (to win),” Cora said. “There’s a lot of preparation here. We did a good job in a close game.”

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Here are some other notes from Monday’s Red Sox-Phillies game:
— During Cora’s press conference, Boston acquired infielder Ian Kinsler from the Los Angeles Angels.
“We think he makes us a better ball club,” president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage.
— David Price was stellar, giving up just one run over eight innings while striking out five. He was saddled with the no-decision, however, but it was encouraging for the southpaw to go deep in the game.
His next start will be Sunday night against the New York Yankees.
— Swihart’s walk-off snapped a team 0-for-15 streak with runners in scoring position by players except for Martinez.
— Boston is 24-6 over its last 30 games.