Red Sox star Mookie Betts hammers Yankees with three home runs

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 24: Mookie Betts #50 of the Boston Red Sox hits a single during the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Two of the 2018 World Series at Fenway Park on October 24, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 24: Mookie Betts #50 of the Boston Red Sox hits a single during the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Two of the 2018 World Series at Fenway Park on October 24, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts hit three home runs in his first three plate appearances against the New York Yankees.

It seems as though Mookie Betts always scores a run shortly after stepping to the plate. Part of why he leads the league in that category is that a powerful Boston Red Sox lineup has a habit of driving him in. This time, Betts didn’t need help from his teammates to round the bases.

Betts was a nightmare that New York Yankees starter James Paxton couldn’t escape. The reigning MVP faced the big lefty three times and took him deep in each of them.

After battering Yankees pitchers for a season-high 19 runs the previous night, the Red Sox wasted little time pouncing on them early once again. Betts led off the bottom of the first inning by launching a 96 mph fastball over the Monster seats to give Boston an early lead.

Two innings later, Betts led off the frame by crushing a misplaced cutter and sending it out to Lansdowne Street. Two homers in his first two plate appearances. Yes, that’s good.

Could he make it three-for-three? Yes, he could. Betts was a bit fortunate to get another chance to face Paxton in the fourth inning. A sharply hit grounder by Jackie Bradley Jr. ate up second baseman Gleyber Torres. While it was ruled a base hit, that’s a ball Torres needs to get in front of for a fairly routine out to end the inning.

His miscue gave Betts his first chance to bat with a runner on base but the results weren’t any better for the Yankees. A towering shot pulled down the left field line for his third home run of the night gave the Red Sox a seven-run lead.

Three plate appearances, three home runs. You would think Paxton would have learned his lesson – if not after serving up the first homer, at least after he coughed up the second. All three homers were on fastballs middle-in, right in Mookie’s sweet spot.

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His recovery from a slow start (by his standards) coincides with Betts getting back to what he does best – pulling the ball with authority. All three of his home runs were pulled to left field.

Perhaps even more encouraging is that all three homers came against a left-handed pitcher. Betts has uncharacteristically struggled with southpaws this season, entering the day hitting .236 with a .682 OPS against them. Only one of his 15 home runs had been against a lefty prior to tonight.

This was the first multi-home run game of the season for Betts but he’s no stranger to the three-homer game. This was the fifth time in his career that Betts has hit three home runs in the same game. Sammy Sosa and Johnny Mize share the MLB record with six career three-homer games. Betts is now tied for second with Alex Rodriguez, Dave Kingman, Joe Carter, and Mark McGwire.

Betts joins Steve Pearce, Kevin Millar, and Mo Vaughn as the only Red Sox hitters with three home runs in a game at Fenway Park against the Yankees.

A franchise record fourth home run wasn’t in the cards for Betts tonight but he would add a double to drive in another run in the sixth. He would end the night 4-for-5 with four runs scored and five RBI.

The Red Sox pummeled the Yankees for 10 runs, their fifth consecutive game with 8+ runs against the Bronx Bombers. Boston has taken the first two games of this pivotal series at Fenway, ensuring they won’t lose the series and moving them above the .500 mark at home this season.

Next. Betts isn't untouchable in trade talks. dark

Taking three-out-four would be a huge confidence booster and we can’t rule out a sweep following consecutive blowouts. The Red Sox already have the highest scoring lineup and baseball and now the Yankees have allowed Betts to get hotter than he’s been all season. Good luck, opposing pitching staffs.