Mookie Betts’ stellar performance in Boston’s 11-1 win over the Oakland Athletics at Fenway Park on Tuesday night put him in a special place in Red Sox history.
The 24-year-old outfielder hit his 20th home run of the season, a two-run shot in the fourth inning to increase Boston’s lead to 7-1. The blast resulted in Betts becoming the first player in Red Sox history to hit 20-plus home runs and steal 20 or more bases in back-to-back seasons.
Last season’s American League MVP runner-up hit another two-run homer in the sixth inning, giving him six RBI on the night.
Betts now has tallied 21 home runs, 42 doubles, 87 RBI, 24 stolen bases and 71 walks through 140 games.
That kind of stat line illustrates the versatility of Betts’ game. He’s capable of making an impact at the plate with power or contact, and he can put pressure on opposing pitchers with his speed on the basepaths. And, of course, his defense is among the best in baseball.
Betts’ recent resurgence couldn’t come at a better time for the Red Sox as they try to hold on to first place in the American League East and secure back-to-back playoff berths for the first time since 2008-09.
— The Red Sox’s win, combined with the Tampa Bay Rays’ victory over the New York Yankees, gives Boston a four-game lead over the Yankees in the AL East with 18 games left in the regular season.
— There’s been quite a few multi-homer games this season.
Betts has 10 multi-homer games since 2015, tying him with Nelson Cruz, Kris Bryant, Josh Donaldson and Bryce Harper for the most such games in the majors over that span.
— Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez pitched six innings and gave up only one run and one hit to pick up his first win since May 26.
–Red Sox infielder Eduardo Nunez won’t be making an immediate return to the lineup after leaving Saturday’s game with a knee injury.
— Sox outfielder Chris Young entered Tuesday 4-for-4 in his career against A’s starter Sean Manaea. He extended that to 5-for-5 with a first-inning hit and finished the game 2-for-5 with a run scored and a strikeout.
— The Cleveland Indians won their 20th straight game Tuesday night. They own a 6.5-game lead over the Red Sox for the best record in the AL. The good news for the Red Sox is it’s looking increasingly unlikely that they’ll meet the Indians in the American League Division Series for a second straight year.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images
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