ATLANTA -- The fastball from Matt Wisler darted toward the inside corner at 94 mph, and Travis Shaw had been waiting for it all day.The left-handed hitter turned on the pitch and walloped it deep into the seats in right for a three-run homer, and the Red Sox were on
ATLANTA -- The fastball from Matt Wisler darted toward the inside corner at 94 mph, and Travis Shaw had been waiting for it all day.
The left-handed hitter turned on the pitch and walloped it deep into the seats in right for a three-run homer, and the Red Sox were on their way to an 11-4 victory over the Braves.
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This was a meaningful swing for Shaw in the top of the first inning.
"They were pounding me in," Shaw said. "That was something I worked on a lot today, especially in the cage, so it felt good to kind of take what I worked on earlier today into that game, especially with that first swing."
The key for any young hitter is handling adjustments from other teams once they get a "book" to work off of. The updated book will now show that Shaw is plenty capable of putting that inside heat into the seats.
"It's something I didn't want to really have to focus on, but it seemed like that was becoming more of the book on me right now," said Shaw. "I wanted to go ahead and close that up before it got out of hand."
The home run whistled off his bat at an exit speed of 109 mph, according to Statcast™, while landing a projected 418 feet away.
"When you work on something earlier in the day, then continue to do it and you have success, it gives you more confidence," Shaw said.
In the ninth, Shaw smoked a two-run double to center that gave him a career-high five RBIs.
Projected to be a backup when Spring Training started, Shaw continues to justify the faith manager John Farrell put in him by naming him the team's starting third baseman. Shaw is slashing .324/.392/.521 with eight doubles, two homers and 14 RBIs.
"One, he believes in himself," said Farrell. "It goes back to some conversations in Spring Training, and he carries it through. He's playing with a lot of confidence and he's getting regular, everyday at-bats, [against] left-handed [pitchers], right-handed, and just truly believing in himself at the plate."
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne.