Canada’s Tyler O’Neill thriving after trade to Red Sox

Watch as Canadian Tyler O'Neill gives the Red Sox the lead with a no-doubter for his league-leading 7th home run of the season against the Angels.

A change of scenery seems to have done wonders for Canada’s Tyler O’Neill.

Traded to the Boston Red Sox by the St. Louis Cardinals this off-season, the outfielder has rediscovered his power early in the 2024 campaign following two injury-plagued campaigns.

O’Neill mashed his American League-leading seventh home run on Sunday in his 14th game of the season as the Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-4.

“I love it here,” said O’Neill, per Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. “I’m getting to know the city of Boston and getting familiarized with my teammates. It’s been awesome.”

The 28-year-old native of Burnaby, B.C. has given a nice boost to a Red Sox team that gave up two minor-league pitchers to acquire O’Neill.

His first-inning belt over the Green Monster Sunday was one of three times he reached base.

After hitting a career-high 34 home runs in 2021, O’Neill played just over half of the Cardinals’ games the past two years because of various injuries. He had only 23 homers in total the past two years.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora, Abraham reported, has been limiting him to no more than five starts in a row. O’Neill had a day off Saturday before busting out of an 0-for-10 skid.

“When he’s healthy, when he’s on the field, he’s an impactful player,” Cora said. “We just have to make sure we stay on top of it.”

So far, so good. He’s hitting .304 with an OPS of 1.209 and also brings defensive help to the Red Sox as a two-time Gold Glove winner.

O’Neill’s homer tally includes taters on Opening Day (for the fifth straight year) and in their home opener.

“I like playing at Fenway. This place is awesome,” O’Neill said. “I came here as a visitor in ’22; it was my favorite road ballpark. I’m glad to be wearing the home uni in Boston.

“I just wanted to make a good first impression on the people here.”

You can watch O’Neill and the Red Sox face the Cleveland Guardians in the annual Boston Marathon game on Monday at 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT on Sportsnet and Sportsnet+.

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