3B shy of cycle, Mookie instead hits 2nd HR
Red Sox star RF has pair of 4-hit games vs. Phillies this week
PHILADELPHIA — Mookie Betts needed a triple to complete his first cycle when he stepped to the plate in the ninth. He could not stop at third after another hard-hit ball, though.
Betts hit his second homer of the night in the ninth inning of Wednesday’s 7-3 winover the Phillies to cap a 4-for-5 night that also featured a double, three RBIs and four runs.
It was the second time in three games that Betts has recorded four hits, as he went 4-for-5 with three doubles in Monday’s series opener against Philadelphia in Boston. Seven of the Red Sox leadoff hitter’s past nine hits have been either doubles or home runs, and he’s raised his average from .259 to .280 in his past six games.
“The way he’s on a five- or six-game run here, he’s swinging the bat with a lot of authority, a lot of extra-base impact,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said.
Betts’ first home run — a shot to left-center field off Phillies starter Jeremy Hellickson — was his 10th, making the right fielder the first Red Sox player to reach double digits in homers. In the ninth, Betts hit his 11th homer, a line drive off left-handed reliever Adam Morgan that narrowly made it over the left-field wall.
Wednesday was the first multi-home run game of the season for Betts and eighth of his career.
“I’m just putting a lot of work in, just trying to trust my ability and trust the work that I’ve put in,” Betts said. “Seeing a couple balls fall in gives some confidence, and we go from there. “It’s mechanical-related. It’s not even really much … I guess it’s more of a mental thing. I’m just trying to be consistent in there.”
But it wasn’t just the long balls Betts was hitting hard. According to Statcast™, all four of Betts’ hits had exit velocities of more than 95 mph. Betts is the first Red Sox player to have four hits with exit velocities greater than 95 mph since Xander Bogaerts on July 23, 2016.
In addition to the four hits and four runs, Betts was one of several Red Sox players to show off the leather. Betts made a diving grab in right field to rob Howie Kendrick of a hit in the fifth.
Stephen Pianovich is a contributor to MLB.com based in Philadelphia and covered the Red Sox on Wednesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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