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The Boston Red Sox entered the top of the ninth inning of Sunday’s matinee match with just one run to Toronto’s two. The Red Sox had an opportunity to take the lead, but Blue Jays reliever Erik Swanson made that difficult task nearly impossible by striking out Masataka Yoshida and Justin Turner. Things looked just as bleak for Sox third baseman Rafael Devers, who had received two strikes in four pitches. One more and the Red Sox would lose the game.
But Devers would mash Swanson’s fifth pitch to the opposite field, over the outfield fence and into the stands filled with stunned Blue Jays fans. Home run. Tie game. This home run single-handedly brought the Red Sox back into this game, would alter Devers’s place in the team’s record books.
A few batters after the bottom of the ninth inning hit, Blue Jays third baseman Matt Chapman would hit a walk-off triple off reliever Garrett Whitlock, nullifying Devers’s efforts to give the Red Sox a chance at winning. But Devers’ ninth-inning home run would affect his standing in Red Sox history. This was Devers’ 172nd home run of his career, which ties him with Sox legend Jim Rice for the most home runs in Red Sox history before turning 27 years old.
In addition, this home run marked Devers’s 400th extra-base hit of his career, making him the first Red Sox player to ever reach this milestone before turning 27, per The Boston Herald’s Gabrielle Starr.
While he may be suffering a “down year” in comparison to his statistics from 2022, Devers is still having a very good season at the plate. He has a triple slash of .276/.355/.521 as of Monday, all of which rank in the top three among MLB third basemen. In addition, his OPS of .876 is the 10th-highest across the league, and his 98 RBIs are tied for the eighth most in all of baseball.
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