Boston Red Sox rookie Rafael Devers continues to hit home runs, adding two more yesterday against the Cleveland Indians, but veteran Edward Encarnacion had two of his own, and both were two run blasts in Cleveland's 7-3 win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
You may recall that Encarnacion was the player David Ortiz lobbied publicly to replace him as the Red Sox designated hitter after he retired and you can make a good case that maybe the Red Sox should have taken Big Papi's advice. Encarnacion hit home runs 25 and 26 on the year, and his shot in the fifth inning off Doug Fister broke a 3-3 tie and were the winning runs in the make-up game from an earlier rain out.
The Red Sox had fallen behind 3-0 on a day when Fister was not sharp, giving up five earned runs on seven hits before leaving in the fifth. But Andrew Benintendi continued his hot streak, hitting a solo home run, while fellow rookie Devers added two solo shots of his own, one an opposite field Fenway fly that fell into the Monster seats, and the other a golf swing shot that landed in the bullpen in right field. With those home runs Devers joined some pretty good company. The only Red Sox players in history to have multi-home run games before their 21st birthday were Tony Conigliaro and Ted Williams.
So the Red Sox will try to shake off the loss to a very good Indians team and concentrate on getting back to winning against another one. The St. Louis Cardinals come to Fenway tonight for a brief two game series and this is a very different Cardinals squad than the one that floundered for so much of this season and was written off for the playoffs. The Cards have been on a tear and come into Fenway tonight in second place in the National League's central division, just one and a half games behind the first place Cubs. Rick Porcello hopes for another strong start after winning his last one as he faces Mike Leake for St. Louis tonight.
If the Red Sox were looking for some help from the NY Mets to retain their five and a half game lead over the NY Yankees for first place, they didn't get it. The Yanks beat the Mets 4-2 at the Stadium last night, shrugging off a 2-0 deficit with a game tying home run by Aaron Judge in the sixth inning, his 36th of the season, and the go-ahead blast by Aaron Hicks in the eighth. Gary Sanchez also joined the home run parade in the eighth, his 20th of the year. The Mets went yard for their two runs, courtesy of Curtis Granderson and Yoenis Cespedes, who took former Mets pitcher Luis Cessa deep.
The win went to David Robertson, who replaced Cessa. Rafael Montero got a no decision for the Mets, who will have a much better starter on the mound in game two, with Jacob de Grom seeking his fourteenth win of the year when he faces Sonny Gray, still looking for his first win in a Yankee uniform since being acquired from the Oakland A's at the trade deadline.
The Toronto Blue Jays are still in the basement of the A.L. east, and while it's probably too late to forge ahead into the playoff picture, if they keep playing like they have of late they'll at least have a good shot at moving out of that basement. The Jays beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 on the strength of a two run homer in the first inning off the bat of Josh Donaldson, and Nick Tepesch gave up just one run and four hits over seven innings to win for the first time in nearly three seasons. The Jays have now won ten of their last fourteen at home, while the Rays have lost four in a row and are slipping in the standings, now nine games out of first place when they were a mere handful out just a couple of weeks ago.
Most of the Vermont Lake Monsters get a break from NY Penn League play as the league's all-star game takes place tonight in Troy, New York, but the Monsters have six players named to the all-star squad who will take the field tonight where the Tri City Valley Cats play their home games. The Cats currently sit a half game behind Vermont for first place in the Stedler division.