BOSTON -- When an opposing team comes to town, there are hitters that you can prepare for. And then there are hitters like Toronto’s Jose Bautista.
“Very good player,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “Obviously capable of hitting balls out of the ballpark every time he steps in the box.”
Bautista showed that power on Saturday, clubbing career home runs Nos. 200 and 201 while driving in three of Toronto’s six runs in a 6-2 victory over the Red Sox.
“I was able to lay off some tough pitches and get the ones over the plate and when I swung I didn’t miss them,” Bautista said.
Many days have been good ones for Bautista at Fenway Park. After his second home run, the power-hitting outfielder moved into third among active opponents in home runs at Fenway with 16. It was his second two-homer game this season at Fenway. Overall, he has 24 home runs against Sox pitching in his career.
“I just wanted to swing at good pitches and I was able to do it,” Bautista said. “I had a good day in the cage and good BP, so I felt like I had a little bit more rhythm than days past.”
According to ESPN Stats, Bautista’s first home run traveled an estimated 406 feet over the Green Monster and onto Lansdowne Street. The second, which just missed striking the light tower in left-center, was measured at 417 feet, the longest he’s ever hit at Fenway Park.
Entering Saturday’s contest, Bautista had just one home run in his last 56 at-bats, was batting .182 in June, and was 1-for-7, a hit-and-run single, plus a walk, in the first two games of this series, both won by the Sox.
After hiking up his socks and wearing Toronto ace R.A. Dickey’s pants (“It’s the only ones that fit me that were short”) in an effort to reverse his fortunes at the plate, the familiar power that Bautista has displayed at Fenway was back on track.
Bautista also stole a base after working a walk in the first and threw out Shane Victorino at the plate, trying to score from second in the sixth. The outfield assist was his second in as many days.
“I felt like I made a good transfer and I had good momentum and I threw it as hard as I could,” Bautista said.
Starting pitcher Esmil Rogers appreciated the help.
“[That play saved] me a run,’’ he said, “so I don’t know how I can repay that.”
For Bautista, though, it’s not about being repaid.
“I just want to help out with day-to-day wins,” Bautista sad. “I feel like I could have been doing a lot more lately and today was a good day.”
Kyle Brasseur is a contributor to ESPNBoston.com.