Boston Red Sox

Rafael Devers sets one record, matches Babe Ruth for another


Rafael Devers sets one record, matches Babe Ruth for another

BOSTON — Maybe he'll call his shot next. It seems that easy for Rafael Devers.

Rafael Devers' preternatural hitting ability at age 20 gave him one record on Saturday night and tied him with The Babe for another.

When Devers ripped a home run to the deepest part of Fenway Park in the seventh inning Saturday night, he became the first player under 21 to homer against the Yankees in three straight games since Babe Ruth did it in 1915, per ESPN.

Incredibly, Devers has eight homers in his first 20 games, which is a record for someone under the age of 21, per Elias. The previous record was seven home runs, set by Ron Swoboda in 1965 and Orlando Cepeda in 1958.

Devers' home run was reviewed and upheld after it hit just to the right of the yellow line extending from the farthest point of the triangle in center field. It came off Yankees' righty Adam Warren and cut the Yankees' lead to 4-3.


Price, Pedroia to rehab at home with Sox on road; Pomeranz's next start up in the air


Price, Pedroia to rehab at home with Sox on road; Pomeranz's next start up in the air

BOSTON — A significant week of rehabilitation work awaits the Red Sox, so much so that head athletic trainer Brad Pearson is going to remain in Boston when the team goes to Cleveland on Monday for the start of a four-game series.

There are some big names who will stick around with him.

David Price is not yet throwing from flat ground yet and will remain in Boston, as will Dustin Pedroia, who is expected to begin baseball activities this week. Those activities could be at Fenway Park or with short-season Class A Lowell, which is scheduled to play at home Tuesday through Thursday.

Carson Smith’s not going to be activated imminently, but his pitch-every-three-days schedule could see him move up to pitching on two days rest this week. Smith’s with Triple-A Pawtucket, on his way back from a shoulder injury that cropped up as he was returning from Tommy John surgery.

“The velocity has a little variation to it, which you would expect,” Farrell said. “But the key thing for me is he’s feeling better quicker coming out of the outings. So he’s going to pitch again on Monday.”

Whether he pitches again Wednesday or Thursday remains to be seen.

Reliever Ben Taylor is also nearing a minor league rehab assignment, with live hitters scheduled this week and game action hoped for by Friday.

Pomeranz next start up in the air: A day after Drew Pomeranz exited the Red Sox’ 9-6 win in the fourth inning because of back spasms, it remained unclear if Pomeranz (12-4, 3.31 ERA) would make his next scheduled start.

“He’s improved today,” Farrell said. “There’s still some soreness to the right, kind of on the right belt-line area where the spasms are present. He’s of the mindset that he’s going to be ready to go for a start. 

“He typically throws a side on Day 3 in between the starts. So that will have a lot of bearing on [what happens] going forward. We’re in a day-to-day situation and optimistic he’d make his next start.”

Drellich: Forget Red Sox resiliency or luck, banked wins are what matter

Drellich: Forget Red Sox resiliency or luck, banked wins are what matter

BOSTON — The minutiae starts to fade now. Steal a few wins, rattle off a gorgeous run when people didn’t expect you to — what should or shouldn’t happen doesn’t matter.

Are the Sox really this good? At a certain point, it’s irrelevant how many wins were lucky (Friday’s, arguably), or against bad teams (the White Sox), or anything else. Those victories are cinderblocks in the standings that the Yankees will find increasingly difficult to budge.

There’s simply no challenging the value of banked wins, no eliminating them.

Look, you didn’t need Friday night’s 9-6 Red Sox win over the Yankees to realize the Sox are resilient. All of August has been a coming out party: for a pitching staff that’s making due without David Price, for an offense liberated by a 20-year-old third baseman who homered again Friday, Rafael Devers, as the team adapts smoothly to the absence of Dustin Pedroia.

“We miss them,” Sox manager John Farrell said Saturday night. “There’s no question we miss those two guys, and [are] really looking forward to their return. But it speaks volume to the team we have, the depth and talent that’s here. 

“What Raffy has done by coming up, and Eduardo [Nunez’s] arrival here at the time when Pedey goes down, they’ve been instrumental in the way we’ve played. I don’t know if you want to call it the next-man-up mentality, but we have not skipped a beat and guys are beginning to flourish and shouldering a greater burden.”

But what, beyond this sense of resiliency, have you learned since the trade deadline? What can you tell about the Sox’ future from watching them reach a season-high 19 games over .500? 

That discussion is more complicated. The Sox are one of the best anywhere, just as they were projected to be entering the year — albeit with some different personnel fulfilling those predictions. They’re just the second AL team to reach 70 wins.

Yet, it’s fair to wonder how many times a reliever like Tommy Kahnle — one of the Yankees’ significant trade additions — will let Mitch Moreland come through with a go-ahead hit on an 0-2 count in the seventh inning. 

It’s fair to wonder how many times Heath Hembree, Matt Barnes and Joe Kelly can fall into trouble without swing-and-miss stuff and be bailed out. Or how many times Farrell can keep holding back guys like Addison Reed, as the skipper did on Friday, until he really has no other choice — and be let off the hook for those choices.

The Red Sox are homer-happy right now, with multiple long balls for the 9th time in 14 games. Those home runs could be long overdue, or it could be a cluster and an aberration.

Again, those questions start to diminish in importance. Because in the same way we talk about time running out for Price’s return from injury, time also starts to run out for other teams.

There’s a cushion of five games in the AL East going into Saturday’s middle game of three with the Yankees, one of just six remaining head-to-head match-ups between the Sox and Yanks this season. The last time the Sox and Yankees were playing each other as the top two teams in the division this late in the year was 2011, a reminder of how quickly leads can dissipate. 

This isn’t a suggestion the Sox should be foolhardy, or have anything wrapped up. It’s a reminder that whether you believe Eduardo Nunez will keep up his .361 average down the stretch, or whether you find anything dubious about some of these Sox wins — they’re still in the bank, appreciating in value from now until October.