Rafael Devers has made strides in the batter’s box and at the hot corner in what could be his first All-Star season in the big leagues.
The 24-year-old also has improved in between the ears.
Take Tuesday night, for example. The Rays put up two runs in the first inning against the Red Sox after Devers allowed the first Tampa Bay batter of the game to reach on a fielding error. Devers slipped up again in the eighth when his base-running error prevented Boston from potentially scoring the go-ahead run late in the series opener at Tropicana Field.
Devers a year or two ago might have let these mistakes bring him down and take him out of the game mentally. But not this Devers, who stayed focused and ultimately delivered the game-winning knock for the Red Sox in the 11th inning.
“Obviously I made that error that could have really cost us, but I just put it behind me,” Devers told reporters, per MLB.com. “I just turned the page and focused on ways I could help the team win. That’s something I was able to do today so thankfully I was able to execute. That’s part of baseball. I’m going to make errors and I’m going to have to remember that. Don’t let it just sit on me. I just have to continue to play the game that I know how to play.”
Devers and the Red Sox will look to keep it rolling Wednesday when they resume their three-game series with the American League East rival Rays. NESN’s complete coverage of the divisional matchup begins at 6 p.m. ET.