Red Sox Notes: Mookie Betts Continues To Provide Offensive Spark

Mookie BettsThe Boston Red Sox won’t be involved in the playoff races in September, but exciting outfield prospect Mookie Betts is giving fans reasons to follow the team over the final month of the regular season.

Betts was moved up to the leadoff spot for Monday’s series finale against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field, and he provided some much-needed offense for Boston.

The 21-year-old center fielder tallied a single, double, two RBI and scored a run. But it wasn’t enough for Boston, which lost 4-3 in 10 innings.

Betts now has back-to-back multi-hit games and finished the four-game series versus the Rays with six hits, six RBI, one home run and three runs scored.

The Red Sox’s lineup has been frustratingly inconsistent all season, which makes Betts’ recent success quite valuable. He’s batted .423 with three doubles, two home runs, seven RBI and three steals in the last nine games, all while playing quality defense in the outfield with his excellent range.

Betts is likely to remain at the major league level through the remainder of the season. He’s not quite as good defensively as Jackie Bradley Jr. in center field, but Betts is more consistent at the plate and gives manager John Farrell valuable versatility with his ability to hit at the top or bottom of the order.

–The Red Sox have played in a lot of extra inning games this season, and most of them have ended in losses.

–Red Sox starter Rubby De La Rosa earned another no-decision. He pitched 5 and 1/3 innings, giving up three earned runs and six hits with four strikeouts. He didn’t walk anyone.

Overall, De La Rosa was solid. He had one bad inning — he gave up three runs in the top of the third — but he used all of his pitches effectively and had good movement on his breaking ball.

–Including Sunday’s game-tying single in the eighth inning, Yoenis Cespedes now is batting .382 with runners in scoring position since joining the Red Sox at the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31.

–Yoenis Cespedes is tied for the team lead with five game-tying or go-ahead hits in the 7th inning or later. That’s impressive when you consider he’s been with Boston for just 28 games.

–The Red Sox made a roster move Sunday.

–Second baseman Dustin Pedroia missed Monday’s game with concussion-like symptoms. His status for the upcoming road series against the rival Yankees is unknown at this point.

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