By Lance Reynolds
HYANNIS, Mass. ? The Y-D Red Sox are red hot ? in all phases of the game.
Just a night after defeating the Orleans Firebirds, 11-2, Y-D continued their ferocious offensive attack in a 10-0 shutout win over the Hyannis Harborhawks at McKeon Park Thursday.
?Hits. Just hits. Just seeing the ball and hitting it ? that?s what we do,? outfielder Carlos Cortes said of the team?s plate success the past two nights. ?We?ve been doing it lately, and just getting pitches that we can handle, and pouring it on in the ninth inning as well.?
Cortes was the ignitor of the dominant display of offense that didn?t begin until the top of the seventh, as Hyannis held Y-D off the scoreboard through the first six innings.
Cortes led off the seventh on an infield single to the deep shortstop hole. Four batters later, he came around to score the game-winning run on an error by Harborhawk shortstop Tyler Frank to put the Red Sox ahead 1-0.
In the eighth, Cortes increased the Y-D lead to 5-0 on a two-run homer over the right field fence ? his third home run of the season.
?The pitcher got ahead ? he made two great pitches on the outside corner; changeup, fastball, Cortes said. ?He threw another changeup out and he then left a slider out for me to hit, and I hit it hard and it was up. He paid for it.?
Thursday?s performance from Cortes is starting to become what the Red Sox are growing accustomed to and expect of him.
The outfielder from South Carolina started the season on a roll ? seeing his batting average stay above .400 for the majority of June. However, Cortes got into a slump at the beginning of July.
He started to see his at-bats turn into rather easy outs, whether it be groundouts or flyouts, or even strikeouts. As a result, Cortes saw his batting average dip to below .300.
Fortunately, Cortes, who is one of Y-D?s seven all-star selections for this Saturday?s all-star game in Wareham, has found his rhythm at the plate again.
?I?m always having fun, it?s a fun game,? Cortes said. ?I?m hard on myself, which sometimes isn?t a good thing, but I expect a lot out of myself, and I just want to see success and ultimately, team success.?
In the Red Sox 6-5 12-inning win at Falmouth Sunday, Cortes came off the bench in the seventh inning and hit a two-run pinch hit homer to put Y-D ahead 4-3.
In Wednesday?s 11-2 victory over Orleans, Cortes stroked three singles, two of which produced single runs.
?I wasn?t making the right adjustments. I was under the ball a little bit,? Cortes said. ?Now my hands are above the baseball and now I?m hitting the ball the way I should be.?
Cortes, who usually starts in left, gets the opportunity to play alongside fellow all-stars Alex McKenna and Kyle Isbel. After watching Isbel make two highlight-reel grabs in center on Tuesday in Harwich, Cortes saw McKenna lay out for two sensational grabs Thursday.
?They?re fantastic out there, and they make you want to be better out there? Cortes said of McKenna and Isbel. ?It could get boring out there, but we?re always talking out there ? just talking to each other back and forth. It?s cool to play with those guys.?
Y-D (20-11-1) is back at Red Wilson Field Friday to host the Wareham Gatemen with a 5:00 pm first pitch.