Wednesday was a special day for Boston Red Sox star Mookie Betts.
The 25-year-old right fielder made his return to the lineup in a big way, going deep three times as the Sox beat the Royals 5-4 in a matinee rubber match at Fenway Park.
Betts tweaked his hamstring Saturday and had not started a game since, but in his return to the leadoff spot, the 25-year-old was not kind to Royals starter Danny Duffy. With his three-home run game, Betts set the franchise record for career three-homer games with four, passing Ted Williams.
With the win, the Red Sox climb to 22-8, while the Royals fall to 8-22.
Here’s how it all went down:
GAME IN A WORD
With each passing at-bat for Betts, it became more and more incredible watching him go deep one time after another.
ON THE BUMP
— Things got off to a shaky start for starter Drew Pomeranz, but after three bumpy innings he settled in well. He finished his six innings of work having allowed three runs on eight hits with a pair of walks and three strikeouts.
Pomeranz found himself in trouble early in the first, putting runners on second and third with no outs. After striking out Mike Moustakas for the first out, Salvador Perez flew out to deep center, plating Whit Merrifield from third. However, Jorge Soler never tagged up, and the Red Sox got him at second to end the inning on the sacrifice double play.
The problems got worse in the second, as Pomeranz allowed a two-out double to Drew Butera, which scored a pair of runs to make it 3-0.
Then in the third, the left-hander loaded the bases with one out before getting Jon Jay to ground into an inning-ending double play.
The southpaw did settle in during the following frames, allowing just two hits in his final three innings, which brought him to the end of his day.
Pomeranz gave up three runs on eight hits while striking out three and walking three in six innings of work.
— Joe Kelly, who was reinstated earlier in the day from his six-game suspension, came in and pitched a scoreless seventh, striking out two while allowing a hit.
— Matt Barnes pitched the eighth, allowing a solo home run to Cheslor Cuthbert to cut Boston’s lead to 5-4. Barnes struck out two in his lone inning of relief.
— After surrendering the game-tying home run Tuesday night, Craig Kimbrel came in Wednesday redeemed himself, striking out the side in the ninth to earn the save.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— The Red Sox’s bats lit up in the fourth inning, with a pair of home runs to erase the Royals’ 3-0 advantage. Mookie Betts led off the frame with a monstrous solo home run, carrying 452 feet. After Hanley Ramirez walked, J.D. Martinez launched a two-run shot to tie the game up.
— Then with the game locked at three in the fifth, Betts went deep again, this time sneaking a ball just inside the left-field foul pole for the go-ahead run.
— But that wasn’t enough for Betts. In the seventh inning, the right fielder launched a ball to straightaway center to extend Boston’s advantage to 5-3 with his third dinger of the game.
— Betts finished his day 4-for-4, while Martinez also registered a multi-hit game with two knocks.
— Ramirez, Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers and Eduardo Nunez all had one hit.
— Andrew Benintendi, Sandy Leon and Jackie Bradley Jr. all went hitless.
TWEET OF THE DAY
The Sox will head down south for a four-game set with the Texas Rangers. First pitch from Globe Life Park in Arlington is set for 8:05 p.m. ET. David Price will get the ball in Game 1 on Thursday and will be opposed by left-hander Mike Minor.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images