Babe Ruth universally is recognized as one of the all-time greats in Major League Baseball history, but he had to make some room for Rafael Devers on Saturday night.
The Boston Red Sox rookie third baseman has been nothing short of phenomenal in his brief time in the big leagues, and while he already has joined several lists with Ruth and Ted Williams, he and Ruth now stand alone in one category.
Devers hit a towering solo home run during the Red Sox’s 4-3 loss to the Yankees at Fenway Park, and with that round-tripper, he became just the second member of the Red Sox to hit a home run in three consecutive games against the Yankees before turning 21, joining Ruth.
But that’s not all.
Devers now is the only player age 20 or younger in MLB history to hit eight home runs in his first 20 games of his career.
The 20-year-old rookie now is hitting .364 with eight home runs and 16 RBIs in those 20 games.
And probably more importantly for Red Sox fans, Devers has absolutely tormented the Yankees in his young career. After his solo home run Saturday night, Devers is hitting .444 with three home runs and six RBIs against the “Bronx Bombers.”
Devers continues to reward the Red Sox’s faith in him, and could soon see himself hitting cleanup behind fellow rookie Andrew Benintendi.
In fact, other than Benintendi, no other player has had a hotter August than Devers, who is hitting .386 in the month. Compare that to designated hitter Hanley Ramirez, who currently occupies the No. 4 spot in the lineup and is hitting .205 in August.
While the Red Sox might not want to put that much pressure on the youngster, if he keeps raking and joining exclusive clubs with the likes of Ruth and Williams, he will leave Boston with little choice but to move him up in the order.
Let’s take a look at more notes from Red Sox vs. Yankees.
— With nine strikeouts Saturday, Chris Sale became the second player in MLB history to record 250 strikeouts in 25 games or fewer.
— Drew Pomeranz exited Friday’s game with back spasms, but the Red Sox are cautiously optimistic that he will make his next start.
“He’s improved today,” manager John Farrell said, via Mass Live’s Nathan Rubinstein. “There’s still some soreness kind of in the right belt line area where the spasms are present. He’s of the mindset that he will be ready to go for his start, but he typically throws a side on day three in-between the starts, so that will have a lot of bearing.
“We are in a day-to-day situation, but optimistic he will make his next start.”
— Xander Bogaerts now is 2-for-21 with runners in scoring position since July 21. Both hits came Tuesday against the St. Louis Cardinals.
— Right-handed hitters now are hitting .177/.208/.260 against Joe Kelly this season.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images