With the season hanging on a thread, Boston makes an early series statement to kickoff their most crucial regular season series yet against the New York Yankees.
“Our guys are savages in the batter’s box.”
Well… that wasn’t exactly the story last night from Fenway Park where the good ole Yankees versus Red Sox rivalry made another stop this season.
Yankees right-handed pitcher Masahiro Tanaka made his first start against the Red Sox, since blowing a six-run lead in the first inning back in London on June 29. Deja vu struck Tanaka from the UK to back in the states, except this time, he didn’t have a lead to begin with. He didn’t even give New York the opportunity to pile up any sort of supporting offensive cushion.
Right off the bat, the Red Sox jumped all over Tanaka, rallying seven runs to begin the ballgame. Xander Bogaerts wasted no time continuing his MVP-caliber season, taking Tanaka yard at 451-feet over the Green Monster. The longest home-run ever hit by Bogaerts in his career. Then came one of the most elite uprising left-handed swings today in baseball, Rafael Devers, who in the fourth, took Tanaka 437-feet to left-field at 111.3 miles per hour. That’s the farthest home-run batted to opposite field by a lefty this season, previously held by last season’s N.L. MVP Christian Yelich.
It was the most runs Boston has ever scored in a first inning against the Yankees since Andy Hawkins allowed eight earned runs to cross in the first inning at Fenway Park back in 1989, on September 26.
That’s back when a .332 batting Wade Boggs and Dwight Evans were in the Red Sox lineup. Just to put in perspective how incredibly long ago that was.
Nevertheless, Tanaka was completely chased off the mound by the Red Sox lineup. He only lasted 3.1 innings while allowing two moonshots and 12 earned runs to cross. Guess what? Those 12 runs were also historic. In fact, they were the most runs allowed by a Yankees pitcher to ever throw against Red Sox hitters ever! Runs all around. History all around.
Boston wasn’t done scoring when Tanaka took his leave after getting yanked (no pun intended), by Aaron Boone in the fourth inning. Nor was Xander Bogaerts.
With a respectably comfortable 13-run lead and 16 runs on the board by the Red Sox, it was time for Aaron Boone to play the classic “put in a position player to pitch because there’s no way in hell we’re gonna catch up and I just really want this night to end” card. Austin Romine made his first-ever appearance as a pitcher, and doubt he’s gonna make the JV rotation cut.
Xander Bogerts jumped right on the opportunity to build upon the insurance cushion, going deep off Romine in the eighth inning. It was the 23rd home-run hit by Bogey this season which ties his total for last season as a whole. Bogaerts would finish the night 4-for-6 with two home-runs and four RBIs.
The Red Sox would finish the night leading all of baseball in runs (601), hits (1,018), runs batted in (570), batting average (.274), and on-base percentage (.344). Their offense was so dominant that they tied an American League record with eight players totaling multiple-rbi nights in a single game. First time said record has been reached since the Texas Rangers did so against the Baltimore Orioles on August 22, 2007.
Purely “savage” mode.