Rafael Devers played the role of hero for the Red Sox on Monday night at Fenway Park.
But had it not been for a clutch at-bat from Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Boston’s third baseman wouldn’t have needed to step into the batter’s box in the bottom half of the ninth inning.
With the Blue Jays trailing the Red Sox 1-0 with two outs in the top of the ninth, Guerrero leveled the series finale when he walloped a 1-0 Matt Barnes curveball 451 feet to left center field. The momentum swing proved to be short-lived for Toronto, however, as Devers lifted a walk-off single off the center field wall that prevented extra innings and earned Boston a series split.
Speaking with the media after the game, Devers tipped his cap to Guerrero, who currently leads Major League Baseball in home runs (22), RBIs (56), slugging percentage (.697) and OPS (1.148).
“Vladdy’s nasty right now,” Devers told reporters through translator Bryan Almonte, per MassLive. “He’s swinging the bat well and obviously being a fellow countrymen, being back there in the D.R. with me as well, we always want to see each other succeed so I’m happy for him.”
The Red Sox and the Blue Jays aren’t slated to meet again until late July, but there’s a chance Devers and Guerrero will cross paths in Colorado a week prior. They currently lead American League All-Star voting at third base and first base, respectively.