Red Sox rookie third baseman Rafael Devers’ performance in his first ever series against the rival New York Yankees was very encouraging for Boston.
The 20-year-old finished the three-game series in the Bronx with five hits, three RBI, a double and a home run. The homer was a solo shot on a 103-mph fastball from Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman that tied Sunday night’s game 2-2 in the top of the ninth inning. The Red Sox went on to win 3-2 in 10 innings.
Devers also went 2-for-4 with 2 RBI in Boston’s 10-5 win over New York on Saturday.
The Red Sox called up Devers on July 23. He’s hit .333 with four home runs, 10 RBI and a .397 on-base percentage in 57 at-bats at the MLB level.
Devers has exceeded expectations so far, and given the Red Sox much-needed offensive production at third base — a position that was a glaring weakness for Boston before his arrival to the majors.
Here are some other Red Sox-Yankees notes.
— Andrew Benintendi was just as impressive as Devers in the series against the Yankees. The 23-year-old left fielder hit the go-ahead RBI single in the top of the 10th inning Sunday night, and he also hit a pair of three-run homers Saturday.
Benintendi went 5-for-13 with three home runs, nine RBI, three runs scored, one walk and two strikeouts in the series.
He has 15 hits in 31 at-bats in August.
— Sox starter Chris Sale didn’t earn his 15th win of the season Sunday, but he struck out 10-plus batters for the 16th time in 24 starts. The Red Sox single-season record for games with 10 or more strikeouts is 19 set by Pedro Martinez in 1999.
Sale also is on pace to become the first pitcher since Martinez in 1999 to strike out 300 batters.
— Sale allowed just one earned run over seven innings. In fact, he’s given up two or fewer earned runs in all three of his starts against the Yankees in 2017 but doesn’t have a single win to show for it.
— The Red Sox improved to 5-7 against the Yankees after Sunday’s victory. These rivals will play a three-game series at Fenway Park next weekend. The Sox could begin to pull away from the Yankees in the American League East if they sweep that series or take two out of three. Boston enters Monday with a 5.5-game lead in the division over New York.
— Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge has looked like a lock for the American League Rookie of the Year Award, and quite possibly an MVP frontrunner, for most of the season. But he’s been much less productive since the Major League Baseball All-Star break. He’s batting .161 with just five home runs, 12 RBI and 43 strikeouts in 93 at-bats since the Midsummer Classic.
— Judge struck out in the fourth inning Sunday, which extended his streak of consecutive games with a strikeout to 30. The MLB record is 32 games. Judge’s 154 strikeouts on the season are the second-most in the majors.
— It hasn’t been all bad for Judge, though. Sunday was the anniversary of his MLB call up last season. Here’s a look at his success so far.
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