Rafael Devers didn’t miss a beat while on the disabled list.
It almost was easy to forget the Red Sox third baseman was absent for the past handful of games, seeing as Boston was tearing apart the opposition nightly. But Devers was activated from the 10-day disabled list Wednesday and immediately made a huge impact in the Sox’s 10-5 thumping of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Devers went 2-for-4 in the victory, drilling a third-inning double and two-run homer in the sixth.
The 21-year-old landed on the DL July 29 with a left hamstring strain, and though various players did a fine job filling the void, it was clear Devers was raring to go once he got the OK.
“Thankful. Thankful that I’ve been able to come back and help the team win,” Devers said to NESN’s Guerin Austin after the game through team translator Daveson Perez, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “Thankful to God that I was able to contribute, and hopefully He can keep me healthy so I can keep contributing down the line.
“I might have been injured but I was still working,” Devers added. “Still putting in my due diligence on the side and watching video of that time when I was playing well, and that’s helped me out.”
Indeed, Wednesday’s offensive deluge for Devers wasn’t exactly a flash in the pan, rather him picking up where he left off. Over the last 37 games, the third baseman is hitting .280 with 10 doubles, seven home runs, 26 RBIs and 23 runs scored.
Given the nature of Devers’ injury and the fact that Rogers Centre is a turf surface, manager Alex Cora said he will not be in the lineup for Thursday’s series finale.
Here are some other notes from Wednesday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays game:
— Brian Johnson made his eighth start this season Wednesday, and for the eighth time he gave his team a chance to win. Johnson logged his most innings of the season, seven, allowing five runs on six hits with as many strikeouts and a pair of walks.
“He did an outstanding job,” Cora said after the game, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “I know they scored five runs so people are going to say, ‘why did he pitch the seventh?’ We needed seven. We knew where we were in the bullpen and for him to go seven innings, that was excellent for us.
“He’s been great,” Cora added. “Fastballs up, breaking balls, bad swings on fastballs. He’s in total control. He slows down the running game, he fields his position. He’s been outstanding.”
The Red Sox now are 6-2 in games that Johnson has started this season. And with Drew Pomeranz still struggling, Cora noted that Thursday he and his staff would discuss the possibility of making Johnson the permanent fifth starter.
— Teams keep pitching to J.D. Martinez, and he keeps making them pay.
Though Martinez didn’t take any Jays pitchers deep Wednesday night, he went 3-for-4 with a double and recorded his 98th RBI of the season, which extends his league lead in the measure to 10 more than the runner up.
Much has been made about Mookie Betts as an MVP candidate, and deservedly so. But both Betts, Martinez and Los Angles Angels outfielder Mike Trout are making the three-way race for the honor pretty exciting.
— The Red Sox earned their 81st win of the season with Wednesday’s victory. In doing so at this point in the season, they’re joining an elite class, with the final result of the campaign boding well for many of those squads.
Thumbnail photo via Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports Images
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