Xander Bogaerts is having himself a monster season.
And that continued Wednesday afternoon when the Red Sox shortstop went 3-for-4 with two runs and four RBIs in Boston’s 5-1 win over the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field.
Two of Bogaerts’ hits were home runs — a solo shot in the third and a three-run bomb in the seventh — to help propel his team to a series-clinching victory. His third-inning round-tripper, though, was a milestone for the shortstop as it marked the 100th home run of Bogaerts’ career.
After the game, he revealed what was going through his head once he saw No. 100 leave the park.
“It was so crazy. I knew a couple weeks back that I was missing one,” he told NESN’s Guerin Austin. “My mom text me today and said ‘go hit one’ and I was like ‘oh, whatever.’ … Once I hit it, I even forgot that it was 100. I don’t know for whatever reason I totally forgot and some of the guys reminded me and I’m like ‘oh, that’s right.’ But in the time of the game, I had totally forgotten.”
So the milestone was for his mom, right?
“Yeah, she text me she’s like ‘go hit one out’ and I was like ‘I don’t know about that’ but I’m happy she gave me some boost, some pep talk, and it worked out.”
He now ranks sixth for most home runs of all-time by a Red Sox shortstop.
His 101st home run came as some sweet revenge after Cleveland elected to intentionally walk Rafael Devers to pitch to Bogaerts. The shortstop admitted it makes him feel like “the weakest link,” but is happy it worked out this time around.
“It’s kind of been like that, especially these last couple years,” he said. “… I felt like they did a lot. Last year with J.D. (Martinez), this year with Devers. I just enjoy it. And I kind of feel a bit bad because it doesn’t make me feel too well when they walk Devers to face me. Kind of makes me feel like the weakest link. But it works out most of the time and I’m happy I made them pay.”
Here are some other notes from Wednesday’s Red Sox-Indians game:
— Devers built off his historic 6-for-6 performance in Tuesday’s 10-inning win over Cleveland by going 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI.
The third baseman amassed a hit in eight straight at-bats, something that hadn’t been done in a long, long time.
— This is the first time the Red Sox have won a series in August.
“I think it was huge especially being out in the first game we know how tough that one was we could have easily gave in to other games because after that tough loss and all the tough losses we’ve had we could have just been like ‘whatever,” Bogaerts said. “But I think it was huge that we came out and bounced back in this way against a good team like this and playing on the road. I think us going home, we should have the same mentality, or even better. Especially playing against some teams who are not as good as these guys.”
— The bullpen pitched a strong game after Nathan Eovaldi couldn’t make the start due to pitching in the eighth inning of Tuesday’s win.
After Brian Johnson went 2 2/3 innings, the relievers went on to pitch 6 1/3 of two-hit ball with zero earned runs and five strikeouts. They also retired 13 of the last 14 batters faced.
“The kids did a good job,” manager Alex Cora said on NESN’s Red Sox postgame coverage. “(Josh) Taylor and (Darwinzon) Hernandez. I don’t want to put too much pressure on them, but we need big outs from them and they did tonight.”
— Andrew Cashner, who earned his first-career save Tuesday night, was strong again Wednesday, pitching a clean eighth with a strikeout.
Thumbnail photo via Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Images