Chris Sale has been dominant for the Boston Red Sox so far this season, but the guy who he believes is the best player on the ballclub made a statement Sunday afternoon.
Mookie Betts had a career day at Rogers Centre, going 4-for-6 with two home runs and eight RBI in a 15-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Red Sox star right fielder, who finished second in the voting for American League MVP in 2016, has started to come alive at the plate recently. Betts is hitting .483 (!) over the past week, with three home runs and 11 RBI, while setting the pace for the Red Sox’s offense out of the leadoff spot in the order.
“Today I felt pretty good,” Betts said, as seen on NESN’s Red Sox postgame coverage. “I got some pitches to hit, and I just kind of put a good swing on it and hope for the best at that point. ”
Betts, who started the season batting in the middle of the order before being moved up, is hitting .288 out of the leadoff spot with 13 home runs and 38 RBIs in 53 games this season. And while some might think Betts should hit in the middle of Boston’s order with the power he showed Sunday, he doesn’t want to mess with the team’s offensive groove.
“I think things should stay the way they are, you know?” Betts said. “I think guys thrive or do well in certain situations due to where they are in the order, and I think in order to continue to put those guys in those situations you leave them where they are.”
The Red Sox scored 29 runs during their three-game sweep of the Blue Jays, thanks in large part to Betts, who is reminding Boston’s opponents just how dangerous of a hitter he is.
Here are more notes from Red Sox vs. Blue Jays.
— Drew Pomeranz has a 2.54 ERA in his last eight starts.
— Betts joined Nomar Garciaparra as the only member of the Red Sox to record at least 8 RBIs in multiple games in his career.
— Betts became the first leadoff hitter to drive in eight runs for the Red Sox since RBIs became an official stat in 1920.
— The Red Sox traded minor leaguer Nick Longhi to the Cincinnati Reds for international amateur cap space, the club announced Sunday. Longhi had been playing for Double-A Portland.
Thumbnail photo via Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports Images