BOSTON (CBS) — Tuesday night at the Trop was a wild one for the Red Sox, especially for Rafael Devers. After making two costly mistakes against the Rays, the third baseman became one of the heroes for Boston’s extra innings win.
We’ll start with the miscues, because people like happy endings to stories. Devers’ first boo-boo came against the Rays’ first batter of the game, when he couldn’t handle Yandy Diaz’ grounder to start the bottom of the first. It was Devers’ 12th error of the season, and a Xander Bogaerts miscue a few batters later allowed Tampa to plate a pair of runs. It was not an ideal start for a team with a rather shaky defense as of late.READ MORE: Red Sox-Blue Jays Rained Out; Split Doubleheader Wednesday
Devers’ next slip-up came on the base paths in the top of the eighth with the score tied 5-5. After clubbing a one-out double and representing the potential go-ahead run at second for Boston, Devers was cut down on the base paths trying to make it to third on a Hunter Renfroe groundout. As frustrating as the first-inning error was, making an out like that so late in the game was even more infuriating in such a tight contest.
But Devers didn’t hang his head in defeat, and totally redeemed himself in the 11th inning. He scorched a two-run double into right to help propel Boston to a 9-5 win over their divisional foe, his 23rd game-tying or go-ahead hit this season. He leads the Majors in that category, one of the many reasons that Devers is leading the AL in All-Star voting at third base.
RAFFY'S ALL ABOUT IT! pic.twitter.com/nTCDcPMNZB
— Red Sox (@RedSox) June 23, 2021READ MORE: Alex Verdugo Thankful His Game-Winning Homer Cleared Fenway Fence: 'Would've Been One Of The Most Embarrassing Moments Ever'
The 24-year-old would love to improve his consistency and cut those miscues out of his game, but on Tuesday night, he showed just how important it is to have a short memory when such mistakes rear their ugly heads.
“Obviously I made that error that could have really cost us, but I just put it behind me,” Devers said following the victory. “I just turned the page and focused on ways I could help the team win. That’s something I was able to do today so thankfully I was able to execute.
“That’s part of baseball,” he added. “I’m going to make errors and I’m going to have to remember that. Don’t let it just sit on me. I just have to continue to play the game that I know how to play.”
It wasn’t the prettiest win for the Red Sox, a team that has stacked up plenty of ugly victories this season. But Boston walked off the field with a 44-29 record and a 1.5-game lead over the Rays, whom they are now 4-0 against this season. The Sox will take any win against the reigning AL champs any way they can get it.MORE NEWS: Red Sox Rally Late For 2nd Straight Game, Beat Blue Jays 5-4
“At the end of the day, it’s a big league win against a team that — they’re the American League favorites,” said manager Alex Cora. “Everybody said coming into the season that they have a chance to get back to the World Series and we did a good job against them.”