Red Sox: Steve Pearce powers win over Yankees with three home run game
By Sean Penney
Boston Red Sox first baseman Steve Pearce blasted three home runs against the New York Yankees to power his team to victory.
The Boston Red Sox have a new weapon to torment the New York Yankees with and his name is Steve Pearce. The mid-season acquisition injected himself into this great rivalry with a heroic three-homer game.
Pearce had himself a night with his first career three-home run game to power the Red Sox to a win Thursday night. He finished the game 3-for-5 with six RBI.
Three-home run games aren’t as uncommon as you might think. Mookie Betts has done it four times in his career, surpassing Ted Williams for the franchise record. There’s something about doing it against the Yankees that makes it extra special though. Pearce is only the third Red Sox player to hit three home runs in a game against the Bronx Bombers, joining Kevin Millar (2004) and Mo Vaughn (1997).
New York jumped all over Brian Johnson, racing out to a 4-0 lead in the second inning. We couldn’t help but remember that this was supposed to be Chris Sale‘s start before he landed on the disabled list. By the end of the night we came away realizing how fortunate it was that the Red Sox ace will get some additional rest. Why waste Sale in a game where your offense puts up a staggering 15 runs?
A fair amount of that run total was supplied by Pearce.
His first home run came on a solo shot in the bottom of the third that sailed into the back row of the Monster seats. A three-run homer the following inning put the Red Sox ahead 6-4. This time Pearce’s blast cleared everything to land somewhere on Lansdowne Street. He would cap it off with a two-run homer that clanked off the light tower in left field.
The Red Sox acquired Pearce to mash left-handed pitching. He’s done a tremendous job of that but he’s no slouch against right-handers. Pearce got the start against southpaw CC Sabathia, who coughed up the first home run. Boston chased Sabathia after only three innings yet Pearce stayed in the game to face the Yankees bullpen. His next two home runs would come against right-handed relievers Jonathan Holder and Luis Cessa.
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Pearce’s playing time has been split almost identically between left and right-handed pitchers this season. He’s hitting an otherworldly .358 with a 1.076 OPS, four home runs, eight doubles and 13 RBI against lefties. He has more than held his own against right-handed pitching, hitting .277 with a .868 OPS, four home runs, three doubles and 15 RBI.
This was hardly the first time Pearce has done damage against the Yankees. His first game in a Red Sox uniform following a trade in late June came in New York. Pearce collected a pair of hits to make a great impression in his debut.
The 35-year old has played for every team in the AL East, including the Yankees. He’s hitting .294/.385/.576 with 13 home runs and 29 RBI in 177 career at-bats against his former team.
Pearce has only played 18 games with the Red Sox but it’s safe to say that they made a wise decision to pry him out of Toronto. That deal is looking like a steal, even if Pearce is a three month rental. If he keeps this up then the Red Sox will need to consider bringing him back next year.