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McDonald continues to wield hot stick

McDonald continues to wield hot stick

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BOSTON -- Darnell McDonald's storybook beginning with the Red Sox continued to gain steam on Wednesday night, when the right-handed-hitting center fielder -- making his first start for the team -- belted a home run over the wall in center in the bottom of the fourth inning. His second long ball in as many nights gave the Red Sox an early two-run lead in a game they would eventually win, 8-7, over the Rangers.

With that flick of his wrists, McDonald became the first Boston player since Sam Horn (July 25-26, 1987) to homer in his first two games with the team.

On Tuesday, McDonald introduced himself to Boston fans by clubbing a pinch-hit, game-tying two-run homer in the eighth and then slamming a walk-off single off the Green Monster with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. The 7-6 victory by the Red Sox snapped a five-game losing streak. Boston summoned McDonald from Triple-A Pawtucket after placing starting outfielders Mike Cameron and Jacoby Ellsbury on the 15-day disabled list.

McDonald seems to be enthusiastic as it is. But before Wednesday's game, the outfielder seemed to be beaming a little more than usual. He truly discovered the identity that comes with being a hero for the Red Sox, as his cellphone was on overdrive on Wednesday.

"Yeah, [my] phone has been blowing up," McDonald said. "A lot of text messages, a lot of calls. You know, it feels good to know a lot of people care about you, a lot of people are watching. And that's the beautiful thing about playing in Boston."

Did McDonald remember having so many friends?

"Man, I had people from high school calling," McDonald said. "People, I don't know how they got my number, but they did. I don't mind. I enjoy knowing that people are watching what I'm doing and care about me."

For McDonald, the night was sweet payoff for so many years in the Minors.

"For me, every year I set out to improve on the things I did last year," McDonald said. "I believed I could play in the big leagues some day. Those are the things that kept me going. What happened last night, that was the reason I signed over here, for opportunities like that. It came early, and it was unexpected, but you've always got to be prepared, and when they call your name, you never know."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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