Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers MLB’s first to 100 RBI in 2019
By Sean Penney
Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers is the first major league hitter this season to reach 100 RBI and he’s at the top of several other categories.
Rafael Devers had himself quite a day, fueling a Boston Red Sox rally that erased a 6-0 deficit to cap off a three-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles. The young third baseman drove in four runs on his way to a four-hit performance.
A productive ground out by Devers put the Red Sox on the board in the third inning to kick-start the comeback. His wall ball double during a wild six-run sixth inning gave Boston their first lead of the afternoon. He would come around to score on a J.D. Martinez infield single, the first of two instances where Devers crossed the plate in this game.
His next opportunity to circle the bases came the following inning when Devers blasted a two-run homer deep into the right field corner. His 27th home run of the season raised his RBI total to 101, making Devers the first hitter in the majors to drive in 100+ RBI this season.
Devers is starting to put some distance between he and Mike Trout (96) for the league lead in the RBI category. A trio of National League hitters entered the day with 98 but Devers beat all of them to the century mark.
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The pair of runs that Devers scored in this game brought his season total to 103. Only three major league hitters have scored 100+ runs this season while Devers and teammate Mookie Betts are the only American League hitters to do it.
Devers is the first player with 100+ RBI and 100+ runs scored in a season before turning 23 years old since Miguel Cabrera in 2005. Ted Williams is the only other Red Sox hitter in franchise history to cross the century mark in both categories at this age or younger (1939, 1940).
Those are hardly the only categories Devers is thriving in. The pair of doubles he tallied this afternoon give him a major league-leading 46 this season. He also leads the majors with 76 extra-base hits.
Devers is third in the AL with a .332 batting average following his four-hit day and he’s now second with a .976 OPS. He leads the majors with 167 hits.
The Red Sox desperately needed this sweep against the lowly Orioles to pick up some ground in the Wild Card race. They pulled it off, thanks in large part to the heroics of Devers, and now sit only 6.5 games out of a playoff spot. Boston still has a tough uphill battle ahead of them but the way Devers is swinging the bat, you can never count them out.