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Hanigan provides boost with three-hit effort

BOSTON -- Ryan Hanigan may have only played three games since coming back from injury, but the veteran catcher is quickly reminding Red Sox fans how much his presence can mean for their team.

On Sunday, Hanigan provided Boston with a nice offensive boost in a 5-4 win over the Astros at Fenway Park, going 3-for-3 with a walk and two RBIs. The three-hit performance was his first since April 19, 2014, when he went 3-for-4 against the Yankees with Tampa Bay.

Hanigan, activated from the 60-day disabled list on Thursday, missed over two months while recovering from a fractured right hand.

Video: [email protected]: Hanigan plates Panda with a single to right

"It's more just getting my body right, getting my body going, trying to feel that flow back there," he said.

All of Hanigan's hits were opposite-field singles, and he saw 23 pitches across his four plate appearances.

"I'm working on my timing, my swing," Hanigan said. "They're pitching me away. Took my hits to right, I was happy with it, obviously. Couple RBIs there to help the team. Just going to keep grinding with the hitting, keep working on my timing. It's coming."

Rookie starter Eduardo Rodriguez, meanwhile, benefited from Hanigan's game-calling prowess, as the lefty recorded a career-high eight strikeouts while allowing one run over five innings.

Video: [email protected]: Rodriguez strikes out eight over five frames

"It was fun, man," Hanigan said. "His stuff, it's explosive. He understands when he shakes, I always have a lot of confidence in him. He just knows what he's doing out there. He can read swings, he can read hitters' timing. He can do different things with his pitches. It's fun to catch him, for sure."

For Boston, the win helped the club to its third consecutive series victory against a team with a record over .500. That the latest wins came at home against the American League-leading Astros only heightens the optimism that the Sox can head into the All-Star break on a hot streak.

"I think we'd all like to think so," Hanigan said. "We're winning some games. We got to push, we know it. But even that game we lost [on Saturday], we were coming back, battling back. ... Guys are feeling good, I think. Hopefully it's going to be a fun second half."

Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for
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