Bogaerts connects for mammoth first homer

Bogaerts connects for mammoth first homer
September 7, 2013, 7:00 pm
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NEW YORK -- For much of the past week, Xander Bogaerts has had to sit and wait while the team piles up runs, and with it, win after win.    

But when Bogaerts got his chance to return to the lineup Saturday, he made the most of it -- in a big way.    

After doubling to center field in his first at-bat in the third, Bogaerts came up two innings later and rocketed his first big league homer deep into the bleacher seats in left, well over the visitor's bullpen.   

It was a homer measured at nearly 450 feet.    

"It was an easy swing by Xander,'' marveled John Farrell. "What's impressive, more than anything, without regular (playing time) and to step in and double in his first at-bat, home run later on. Today was a glimpse of why people are so high on him as a player, even at this very early stage. He's just very comfortable at this level.''    

Amazingly, as Bogaerts connected, he was suffering from a cramp in his left calf and didn't see where the ball landed. Only when he reached first did he realize that the ball had cleared the left field fence -- by about 50 feet.    

"I kind of cramped up, so I wasn't even paying attention to where the ball was,'' said Bogaerts, 20. "I really didn't think about it. I was worried more about my cramp. I wasn't even looking where it landed. I'll probably watch video of it later.''    

Even if Bogaerts didn't see it land, he knew from the feel that he hit it well.    

"I knew I hit it good,'' said Bogaerts, "but I didn't know it was gone. It's definitely good to get it out of the way as quick as possible, just like the the first major league hit. It's good to get it out of the way.''    

Beyond the tape-measure homer, Bogaerts liked the fact that he could come off the bench after a few days and contribute.   

"I really showed myself today that I can play in that role,'' he said. "So today was pretty huge. I wasn't playing for three or four days and I got the opportunity today on my mom's birthday, so that made it even  more special.    

"Until today, I wasn't sharp at all. I was bad in BP, so I went back to my leg kick. I just went back to it, got some new bats and it worked out good. Credit to the bat.''