By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Andrew Benintendi has been very good pretty much from the moment he was called up to the big leagues. And he’s been around long enough that it would be easy to forget just how young he is.
The left fielder is still just 24 years old, but on Tuesday night at Fenway Park, he etched his name into a century-old record book.
With a bloop ground-rule double to lead off the seventh inning, the left-handed hitter notched his fourth hit of the night in Game 1. He came around to score on Eduardo Nunez’ pinch-hit three-run home run, scoring his third run of the night in an 8-4 Red Sox win over the Dodgers in Game 1 of the World Series.
In recording those four hits, Benintendi became just the third player in Red Sox franchise history to accomplish that feat. Jacoby Ellsbury did it Game 3 of the 2007 World Series in Colorado, and Wally Moses did it in Game 4 back in 1946.
Going outside the Red Sox organization, Benintendi became just the 16th player to ever turn in a four-hit performance in Game 1 of the World Series, and he’s the first American League player to do it since 2000.
What is perhaps most impressive of all for the 24-year-old is this: He’s the first player to ever record four hits and score three runs in his first World Series game.
It’s quite an accomplishment, but Benintendi was not interested in the details after the win.
“I don’t really care, honestly. I’m just glad we won,” he said. “It starts with guys around you, Mookie [Betts] getting on base, putting more pressure on the pitcher, and you’ve got guys like Steve Pearce and J.D. [Martinez] behind me. It makes my job a little more easy.”
Benintendi wasn’t the only part of Boston’s youth movement to drive the Game 1 victory. Rafael Devers — who turned 22 years old at the stroke of midnight, just before Craig Kimbrel recorded the final out — became the first player in MLB history to record an RBI in each of his first eight career postseason starts.
The stretch of eight playoff starts with at least one RBI ties the all-time overall record, which is co-owned by Lou Gehrig, Ryan Howard and Alex Rodriguez.
And, among players under 22, Devers ranks second all-time in postseason RBIs with 13. He trails only Andruw Jones (14).
Together, Benintendi and Devers accounted for five of Boston’s 11 hits.
Benintendi got the Red Sox ahead early, as he singled home Mookie Betts (who had singled and stolen second) to give Boston a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Benintendi then took second base on an ill-advised throw to the plate by Yasiel Puig, and J.D. Martinez singled to plate Benintendi for Boston’s second run.
Benintendi later singled and scored as part of a two-run fifth inning, crossing the plate on a two-out RBI single from Devers. That hit gave the Red Sox a 5-3 lead, scoring what proved to be the game-winning run.