Following a series about as uninspiring as imaginable against the lowly Baltimore Orioles, the Boston Red Sox needed an emotional lift any way they could get it.
With his own bare hand, Kiké Hernandez accomplished just that Friday night down the Beltway against the equally moribund Washington Nationals.
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After loading up the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the fourth inning, Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez proceeded to get the next two outs easily before Hernandez rose to the occasion to fully extinguish the threat.
Nationals outfielder Andrew Stevenson chopped a weak ground ball towards second base, forcing Hernandez to charge and make a play with his barehand. Bobby Dalbec successfully scooped the ball at first, enabling the Red Sox to get to the fifth still scoreless.
The play enabled Boston's offense to bide its time before exploding for four runs in the top of the sixth inning at Nationals Park, when Hunter Renfroe and Dalbec hit back-to-back home runs in a game the Red Sox can't afford to lose.