Triston Casas launched his first career Fenway Park home run— a 411-foot opposite-field shot off Gerrit Cole — on Tuesday night in the Boston Red Sox’s 7-6, extra-innings loss to the New York Yankees.
And it was by accident.
OK, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. But the Red Sox rookie acknowledged after the game he wasn’t trying to go bridge.
“I was trying to stay short. I knew I didn’t need to do much. I was just trying to get that run in,” Casas told reporters, describing his intentions with two outs and a runner on third base. “I was just trying to stay on top of the ball, hit a single. So I might try to apply that approach more often. But obviously, great pitcher. I wasn’t trying to do that. I just put a good swing on it.”
Casas jumped on a 97 mph fastball from Cole, who’s had his share of struggles at Fenway Park despite being one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball. The ball easily sailed over the Green Monster, at the time giving Boston a 2-0 lead.
“I think that wall is going to play to my swing,” Casas said. “The pull-side ones — hopefully with the exclusion of the one (Tuesday) — will go out. But I think that short wall (in left field) is going to help me out a lot. I’ll continue working on it, playing pepper with it and use it to my advantage.”
Casas, a first-round pick in 2018 and one of the Red Sox’s top-rated prospects, already has flashed his immense upside since being promoted to Boston from Triple-A Worcester on Sept. 4. The 22-year-old hit his first career home run against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on Sept. 6, has connected on a few deep flyouts and has looked good defensively at first base.
Still, the most encouraging sign yet might be Tuesday night’s homer off Cole, regardless of his actual game plan going into the at-bat.