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Trevor Story has the big swing again as Red Sox stay hot against Tigers

Trevor Story looks like he might be getting locked in again, as his fourth-inning home run on Tuesday was his second long ball in three days.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Trevor Story blasted a three-run home run over the Green Monster in the fourth inning Tuesday, the biggest blow in a 5-4 Red Sox victory over the Tigers at Fenway Park.

It was Boston’s second straight against Detroit and its seventh win in nine overall. At 38-31, the Red Sox are a season-high seven games above .500, and have won six straight series.

“I’ve been saying all along, we got ourselves in a deep hole [earlier in the season]. Now we’re in a better position,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said, “but we still have to keep fighting.”

Observations from the game:


⋅ Story ended his 22-game home run drought with his opposite field shot Sunday. Story has shown himself to be inconsistent at the dish during his short tenure with the Sox, yet when he catches fire, he’s easily one of the more feared hitters in baseball.

Is he about to go on another one of those runs? That train of thought is still surface level, so let’s talk intent. Just what is Story attempting to do at the plate in an effort to avoid those low-lows?

“We want him controlling the zone, staying on pitches to right-center,” Cora said last week.

Story’s 11th homer of the season Tuesday came in the fourth inning off Tigers starter Beau Brieske, turning a 2-1 Red Sox deficit into a 4-2 lead. Story took a 94-mile-per-hour sinker for a ball, then chased a slider beneath the zone. Brieske tried to double up on the slider, but the pitch stayed over the heart of the plate and Story didn’t miss it.

Story took heed of Cora’s and the coaching staff’s words: Drive the ball with authority to the opposite field, and slug mistake offspeed pitches to the pull-side. (Story’s homer Sunday against the Cardinals came on a 96 m.p.h. sinker, one he hit to right-center.)


Trevor Story gets a ride from teammate Kevin Plawecki after his three-run blast Tuesday night at Fenway.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

This is not to say Story shouldn’t pull fastballs, but he’s struggled immensely on them, hitting just .187. Thinking opposite field on the hard stuff allows him to see the pitch longer, and ultimately, not get out in front and be fooled on any of the offspeed or breaking pitches.

The at-bat against Brieske was proof.

Story’s 48 RBIs this season lead the team, and his home runs have played a big part. Among the 11 are four three-run homers and a grand slam.

“I think I’m just trying to come through for the team,” Story said. “I think a little smaller in those situations. I think that helps me a lot in just trying to use the whole field and hit a line drive.”

He also made a tremendous leaping catch on Javy Baéz to end the Tigers’ seventh, ranging to his right and reeling in a liner with his back nearly to the plate.

⋅ The blast came in support of Rich Hill, who ground his way through five innings to turn in a quality performance. The veteran lefthander yielded just three runs in a game in which the Tigers didn’t have any problem finding barrels.

In the first, Baéz belted a triple near the triangle in center field. It likely should have been a double, but Jarren Duran, who was running full speed for the deep fly ball, had it bounce over his head. A single up the middle by Miguel Cabrera brought in Baéz to score.


In the third, Baéz struck once again, in near the same spot. This time, he deposited it into the Red Sox bullpen for a solo shot. Hill navigated his way around a Eric Haase RBI single in the fifth by striking out Riley Greene to end the inning, keeping the score 4-3, Red Sox.

In the end, Hill struck out six, yielded seven hits, and gave his team a chance to win.

“I felt like the ball came out of my hand well,” Hill said. “I made some tough pitches in some difficult counts. I got beat by some good pitches. I was happy with the way we played overall.”

⋅ Christian Vázquez made it 5-3 to open the seventh, crushing a first-pitch sinker from reliever Andrew Chafin down the left-field line for his fourth home run of the year. The Sox catcher is hitting .306 (34 of 111) in his last 30 games.

The run proved critical when Jonathan Schoop greeted Matt Strahm, closing with Tanner Houck unavailable, with his own solo home run to start the ninth. Strahm recovered to retire the next two hitters, with Cora then turning to the righthanded John Schreiber to face Baéz. A Michigander by way of suburban Detroit, Schreiber — pitching for the fourth time in five days — gave up a single, but got Cabrera to ground out for his second save.

Christian Vázquez delivers an impressive bat flip after a seventh-inning homer Tuesday night against the Tigers at Fenway.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

“I think we pitched really well,” Cora said, “and it started with Rich.”


Julian McWilliams can be reached at julian.mcwilliams@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @byJulianMack.