Boston Red Sox

WATCH: Verdugo homers on first pitch he sees in Fenway Park return

Verdugo was hyped as he rounded the bases at his former home.

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Alex Verdugo was greeted with boos as he stepped to the plate at Fenway Park for the first time since being traded to the New York Yankees. Moments later, he let his bat do the talking.

The former Red Sox outfielder belted a two-run home run on the first pitch he saw from Boston starter Brayan Bello. He wore his emotions on his sleeve as he rounded the bases.

That homer clearly meant a little more than others for Verdugo, who said earlier this week that his return to Fenway would be "very personal." The 28-year-old was traded to the Yankees this past offseason after a rocky finish to his four-year Red Sox tenure.

Boston originally acquired Verdugo as part of the infamous Mookie Betts trade in 2020. He was among the team's most productive players in 2020 and was a big reason why the team made a surprise trip to the American League Championship Series in 2021.

His 2022 and 2023 seasons, however, were marred by spats with manager Alex Cora and multiple benchings. He was benched once for a lack of hustle and again for showing up late to the ballpark in August.

Verdugo's blast marks his ninth of the season with the Yankees. His career-high is 13, set with the Red Sox in 2021 and 2023.

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