BOSTON -- Jarrod Saltalamacchia took a swing Monday night against the Indians, and part of his bat splintered and went flying down the first-base line. But something else was soaring much further. That would be the baseball, which Saltalamacchia hammered down the line in right for a home run, his 10th of the season.
Don't let the busted bat fool you. Saltalmacchia squared that ball up, just like he's done to a lot of other pitches of late during a nine-game hitting streak, which matches a career high.
"I was looking at the ball," Saltalamacchia said. "I hit it on the good part of the bat, and I felt the bat break, but I saw the ball still going so I was trying to see if it was going to hook around the pole or keep going, or what."
Acquired by the Red Sox on July 31, 2010, as a low-risk, high-reward proposition, Saltalmacchia has become just what general manager Theo Epstein hoped he could be.
During the streak, Saltalmacchia is hitting .378 with four homers and 12 RBIs.
"I feel good," Saltalamacchia said. "I feel comfortable at the plate. For me, I'm just putting quality plate appearances together. Feeling comfortable at the plate is good, but it's not as good if we don't get the win."
Saltalmacchia's two-run shot in the sixth tied the game, but the Red Sox suffered a 9-6 loss to the Indians.
"The way bats are now, they're so light and they're so dry sometimes, he hit that ball right on the barrel," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "That wasn't a jam-shot home run. He hit it right on the barrel, and it exploded. That happens from time to time, just because the bats are so dry."