BOSTON — Mookie Betts considers his speed to be his biggest asset. The world learned why Wednesday night.
Betts hustled his way to a rare infield double in the eighth inning of the Red Sox’s 5-4, walk-off win over the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park. The 21-year-old displayed awareness, aggressiveness and quick feet in taking advantage of an opportunity to kick-start a rally.
Betts hit a ground ball to the left side that shortstop Alexei Ramirez fielded while ranging into the hole. Betts beat out Ramirez’s throw on a bang-bang play at first base and immediately realized the White Sox left second base vacant. He thus raced his way into scoring position, opening the door for a three-run eighth inning that gave the Red Sox life amid their dreadful homestand.
“I’ve actually done it a couple times in the minor leagues,” Betts said of his instinctive play. “But the minor leagues is different from here.”
Betts wasn’t done showing off his baserunning prowess, either. The rookie got hit by a pitch in the ninth inning and scored all the way from first base when Daniel Nava, pinch-hitting for Christian Vazquez, lined a game-tying double into left-center field.
Brock Holt ultimately provided the game-winning hit — a single into right field — but Betts certainly put the Red Sox into a position to overcome what seemed like an insurmountable, four-run deficit late in the contest.