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Red Sox Notes: Christian Vazquez Caps Off Strong First Half Of Season

NESN logo NESN 7/7/2019 Lauren Campbell
a group of baseball players that are standing in front of a crowd: Jul 7, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; Boston Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez (7) celebrates with third base coach Carlos Febles (52) after hitting a two run home run during the second inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports © Provided by New England Sports Network L.P. Jul 7, 2019; Detroit, MI, USA; Boston Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez (7) celebrates with third base coach Carlos Febles (52) after hitting a two run home run during the second inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

To say Christian Vazquez is having a strong first half of the Major League Baseball season would be an understatement.

The Red Sox catcher clubbed his 14th home run of the year in Boston's 6-3 win over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday afternoon at Comerica Park, which put him behind only J.D. Martinez (18), Xander Bogaerts (17), Rafael Devers (16) and Michael Chavis (15).

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His home run also marked the most by a catcher at the All-Star break since Jarrod Saltalamacchia in 2013.

Vazquez has been a pleasant surprise for the Sox after batting just .207 with three home runs in 2018. His offense certainly has improved this season, particularly over Boston's last 20 games, where Vazquez has a .345 average with four doubles, seven home runs, 19 RBIs and 16 runs.

"Impressive," manager Alex Cora said when asked about Vazquez's season, as seen on NESN's Red Sox postgame coverage. "I know you guys asked me this morning about what had caught my attention and he hit that home run and I was like, 'Well, forget about that one.' He's been solid, doing a good job staying on the ball. He worked hard at it and he's staying with it. He had a great first part of the season."

Boston certainly will need Vazquez to continue with his offensive strength when the second half of the season begins Friday at Fenway Park against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Here are some other notes from Sunday's Red Sox-Tigers game:

-- David Price pitched well for the Red Sox, giving up just one earned run with six strikeouts in five innings of work. The southpaw picked up his seventh win of the season and the 150th of his career.

"He's been big since the second half last year," Cora said on NESN's Red Sox postgame coverage. "... He's been consistent throughout the whole process. ... Every five days we know what we're gettin. He's been one of the best for the past 11 years."

Price also has had great success at Comerica Park over the course of his career, going 5-0 with a 1.80 ERA in five appearances.

-- The Red Sox have won four straight and five of their last six games and are eight games over .500 for the first time this season.

"It's getting there, absolutely," Price said when asked of the Red Sox's improvement, as seen on NESN's Red Sox postgame coverage. "Still don't feel that we've done everything to the best of our abilities the way that we're capable of doing. To close it out the last six games the way that we have, that's what we needed."

-- J.D. Martinez extended his hitting streak to nine games with a 2-for-3 performance.

The slugger is batting .447 with four doubles, two home runs, six RBIs and seven runs during that stretch.

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