The Boston Red Sox have shredded the opposition at historic rates this season.
With the Major League Baseball All-Star break now officially upon us, the Sox’s 68-30 record not only gives them a 4.5-game lead over the second-place New York Yankees, but it marks the most wins for any team prior to the break in league history.
So it’s no surprise that such success comes with quite a few exciting memories, and we decided to look back at some of the craziest moments (in no particular order) over the last few months.
Here are some of our favorites.
Xander Bogaerts hits walk-off grand slam vs. Blue Jays (July 14)
The Sox found themselves trailing by one run in the ninth inning against Toronto, but tied it up thanks in part to Bogaerts’ efforts at the dish. He returned to bat in the 10th inning with the bases juiced, needing to just hit a ball deep for a sacrifice fly. Not only did the shortstop hit it deep, he hit it out of the park for a walk-off grand slam.
Joe Kelly starts brawl by plunking Yankees’ Tyler Austin (April 11)
The Sox’s late-inning reliever became something of a cult hero one chilly night in April. After Brock Holt took exception to Austin’s slide into second early in the game, the benches briefly cleared, but nothing further happened.
That was until Kelly stood up for his teammate later in the game, beaning Austin and inciting a melee.
Mookie Betts blasts three home runs in two separate games (April 18 and May 2)
One three-run home run game is a pretty impressive accomplishment for any ordinary baseball player.
Of course, Betts is no ordinary player, so he hit three long balls in a game twice over the course of two weeks. The first came in mid-April against the Los Angeles Angels in a 10-1 thumping, while the other — the fourth three-dinger performance of his career — came against the Kansas City Royals in a much narrower 5-4 affair.
Rick Porcello drives in three with double off Max Scherzer (July 2)
Pitchers aren’t ordinarily known for their ability to hit for extra bases, but Porcello appears to be one of the exceptions.
Not only did the right-hander smack a double against the Washington Nationals, it came with the bases loaded and resulted in all three runs scoring.
Oh, and Porcello hit it off Max Scherzer, a friend of his and one of the most difficult pitchers in the league to hit.
Rafael Devers hits grand slam to begin historic five-hit night at Yankee Stadium (June 30)
It usually doesn’t bode well for the Yankees when Devers comes to town.
The Sox’s young third baseman already has made a few memories in Yankee Stadium, among them a first-inning grand slam in an 11-0 dismantling of New York in late June. Devers ultimately had five hits that night, making him the youngest player to record a five-hit game in The Bronx.
Chris Sale one-hits Yankees over seven innings in The Bronx (June 30)
The Sox ace made a big statement against the Yankees on the same night as Devers’ stellar performance. Though he had plenty of run support, Sale stymied New York over seven innings, allowing just one hit with 11 strikeouts. He tossed one 1-2-3 inning after another in one of his most impressive (and there are plenty of examples to choose from) outings.
Mookie Betts caps off 13-pitch at-bat with grand slam vs. Blue Jays (July 12)
This may be one of the most goosebumps-inducing moments of the season.
With the Sox trailing 2-1 in the fourth inning against the Blue Jays, Betts stepped in with the bases juiced. And over the course of the next 11 minutes, Betts fought off pitch after pitch until he connected on the 13th offering, sending it over the wall for a grand slam.
The Sox star’s celebration is equally exciting, something he called one of the happiest moments he’s had playing baseball.
Red Sox come back to beat Rays with six-run eighth inning (April 8)
The current Red Sox squad has proven that no deficit is too much to overcome, and that they’re willing to fight until the final out is recorded. That was apparent pretty early on in the season with an incredible comeback win over Tampa Bay.
Boston trailed 7-2 in the eighth but proceeded to plate six runs in the frame en route to an 8-7 victory.
J.D. Martinez hits first grand slam with Red Sox in wild contest vs. Yankees (April 11)
It has become abundantly clear just how special of a player Martinez is, and he made a pretty big entrance into the Sox-Yankees rivalry.
In the second meeting between the two this season, Martinez stepped in during the fifth inning with the bases loaded and Boston down 8-2. He responded by putting a ball into the center-field bleachers to pull the Sox within a pair.
Though the Red Sox eventually lost, it was an incredibly entertaining at-bat.
Christian Vazquez, Andrew Benintendi homer in seventh inning to erase deficit and take lead vs. Astros (June 2)
In yet another example of the Sox never saying die, they were faced with a less-than-ideal situation against the reigning World Series champions. With two down in the seventh inning and Boston trailing 3-2 to Houston, Vazquez stepped up and blasted a moonshot to tie the game.
After a walk from Jackie Bradley Jr., Benintendi stepped up and hit a monster shot of his own to give the Sox a 5-3 lead, as they ultimately won 5-4.
Mookie Betts hits grand slam as part of nine-run inning in trouncing of Yankees (April 10)
The Sox made a huge splash in their first game against the Yankees this season, walloping New York 14-1.
That was thanks to a nine-run sixth inning that put them ahead by the deciding margin. And Betts put the exclamation point on the offensive deluge with a grand slam.
It has been a wildly entertaining unofficial first half, and it seems this group always finds a way to outdo itself. As such, you can bet there are more fireworks in store for the remaining two-and-a-half months of the regular season.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
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