Mookie Betts now is the sole leader of home runs in Major League Baseball.
The Boston Red Sox outfielder lifted his 15th home run of the 2018 campaign into the Green Monster during the fifth inning of his team’s 6-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday night.
The homer broke the 1-1 tie and gave starting pitcher Rick Porcello some breathing room as he continued his outing, picking up his sixth win of the season in the process. After the game, Porcello was almost left speechless at the production of his teammate.
“It’s incredible. It’s a lot of fun to watch,” Porcello said after the game, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “I don’t even know what to say … he gets his pitch, he’s not missing. He doesn’t get his pitch, he’s not missing.”
Sox skipper Alex Cora agreed, saying Betts is “so consistent with his approach,” while doing “an outstanding job” in the batter’s box.
What’s even more incredible is that the slugger leads the majors in essentially every category, including hits (60), average (.370), runs (48) and doubles (18).
Here are some other notes from Saturday’s Red Sox-Orioles game:
— Boston’s 31st win is the best in the MLB and the team now is a half game ahead of the New York Yankees for first place in the American League East.
— Porcello turned in a quality start, tossing six innings with nine strikeouts on the night. Cora praised the right-handed pitcher, saying he was able to mix up his pitches throughout the O’s lineup.
“When he goes out there, most of the time he’s going to give us a quality start,” Cora said after the game. “It doesn’t matter what kind of stuff he has that night … he finds a way to compete whenever he goes out there.”
— Andrew Benintendi was red-hot at the dish, going 2-for-3 with 3 RBIs and a solo home run.
— Jackie Bradley Jr. went hitless on the night, but he got on base via a walk and was able to score a run for the Sox because he was “able to read the outfielder and took advantage of it,” Cora said.
— Sox pitching collected 13 strikeouts in total on the night.
“They (Orioles) have a good lineup and can blow up on you quick,” Porcello said after the game, who was able to keep the damage at a minimum when the bases were filled with O’s in the fourth inning, allowing just one run.
— Right-handed starters have a 6.82 ERA against the Red Sox lineup going 3-10 on the season while giving up 130 earned runs, per MassLive’s Christopher Smith.