After finding ‘closure’ in return to Fenway Park, Mookie Betts pummeled Red Sox pitching

Red Sox

“With all that the city has done for me and everybody here, I was very blessed.”

Los Angeles Dodgers' Mookie Betts waves his helmet as he receives applause from the crowd before his first at bat in the first inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox, Sunday, Aug. 27, 2023, in Boston.
Mookie Betts once again saluted the crowd on Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

For all of the emotions that played into his long-awaited return to Fenway Park this weekend, Dodgers star Mookie Betts wanted to make one thing clear before Friday’s series opener between the Red Sox and Dodgers.

“We’re here to take care of business,” Betts noted. “And that’s exactly where my head is right now.”

Sure enough, the NL MVP frontrunner did just that during his three games against his former team. During the Dodgers’ series victory against Boston, Betts went 7-for-15 with a home run, two doubles, four RBI, one walk, and five runs scored over three games.

Fellow Dodgers slugger Freddie Freeman also tortured the Red Sox over the weekend, going 7-for-15 with three doubles, two walks, one RBI and four runs scored.

“Those two guys, I mean, I know we’ve played the Braves, they’re really good at what they do, but they dominate the game,” Alex Cora said of Betts and Freeman following Sunday’s 7-4 loss. “Freddie’s been locked in and Mookie is getting on base, and it’s instant offense it seems like in two pitches. Because Freddie is swinging.”

Sunday’s victory for Los Angeles stood as an emphatic stamp on Betts’ first games back at Fenway since September 2019.

The 30-year-old outfielder/infielder went 3-for-5 at the plate, taking an inside fastball from Sox reliever Chris Murphy and depositing it into the Monster seats for a two-run shot in the sixth inning.

Betts now has 35 home runs on the season, tying his single-season career high in what has been yet another standout campaign with the Dodgers.

As was the case on both Friday and Saturday, Betts was treated with another standing ovation upon stepping up to home plate on Sunday, prompting him to tip his batting helmet in appreciation once again.

With his three-game set now in the books, Betts feels as though he finally has some closure on his chapter with the Red Sox, a full-circle journey made a bit easier by the extended gap between his February 2020 and his eventual return in 2023.

“I think it kind of acted as it,” Betts said postgame about finding closure, as transcribed by NESN.com’s Tim Crowley. “Being that it was four years wasn’t so bad. It did act as closure and I’m glad I got it.”

Even though a content Betts is not looking in the past and is happy in his new surroundings in Los Angeles, he once again expressed appreciation for his six years in Boston and the role that the team, fanbase and market played in helping him develop into one of the faces of MLB. 

“Everything was super dope,” Betts said of returning to Boston. “With all that the city has done for me and everybody here, I was very blessed. I am blessed. I thank the fans, the front office and everybody for the opportunity. It’s definitely shaped me to who I am today.”


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