Red Sox

‘I’m ready to go to bed’: Kiké Hernández breaks down his go-ahead RBI and clutch throw home

"Everybody was a little bit sluggish earlier today, but we did what we had to do."

Christian Vazquez tags out Seth Brown, thanks in large part to an accurate throw from Kiké Hernández. Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

When NESN’s Mike Monaco asked Kiké Hernández where his heart rate was at following Friday’s 3-2 win over the Oakland Athletics, the Red Sox outfielder acknowledged it was “still a little bit quick” but that his mind was elsewhere.

“It’s 12:48 our time,” Hernández said, “so I’m ready to go to bed.”

No one could blame him, either. The Red Sox had a quick turnaround, flying from Boston to Oakland on Thursday and quickly preparing for a three-game set with the A’s. Hernández admitted it wasn’t smooth from start to finish, but he ultimately lifted the Red Sox with an RBI single in the top of the 10th and a pinpoint throw home to nab a runner in the bottom of the frame to seal the win.

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The victory was the eighth straight for the Red Sox, and Hernández’s heroics were a major reason why.

“We’re feeling pretty good,” he said. “We just had an unbelievable homestand. To come here, it’s a tough ballpark to play in. We had a six-hour flight last night. Everybody was a little bit sluggish earlier today, but we did what we had to do.”

On Hernández’s single to right-center, which plated Michael Chavis, he said he initially considered bunting if the third baseman was back. Once he saw the A’s were playing in, he mentally prepared himself for Lou Trivino’s assortment of pitches and choked up.

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“I’m glad I did, because I ran out of bat,” Hernández said. “The bat broke, a little blooper went out there, and it got the job done.”

In the bottom of the 10th, the A’s had runners on the corners with no outs and were in prime position to tie or win the game. Sean Murphy floated a ball to center field, and Hernández lined it up and delivered a perfect one-hopper to catcher Christian Vazquez, who swiftly tagged Seth Brown to complete the double play. Adam Ottavino then got the final out, and that was it.

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Hernández noted that right before the pitch, he turned to right fielder Hunter Renfroe and said that Renfroe should take it if there was a ball in between them because he has the better arm and better angle.

Once the ball was hit to shallow center, Hernández said he wasn’t sure if the A’s would send Brown but he had to prepare as if they would. His main focus was on making an accurate throw so the runner at first wouldn’t advance.

“I’m glad he went, I’m glad Christian caught it and tagged him, and I’m glad we won,” Hernández said.

Manager Alex Cora echoed those thoughts and called the way the Red Sox play defense in the outfield “elite.” He was confident Hernández would make the play.

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“I think he’s out. I told (third base coach) Carlos (Febles) in Spanish, ‘He’s out, he’s out, he’s out,’ like five times,” Cora said. “It wasn’t deep enough, and him getting behind the ball was the key. And I was like, ‘This guy’s gonna be out.’”

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