Red Sox rookie Bobby Dalbec homered in his fifth straight game.
All Bobby Dalbec does is hit home runs. At least that’s the narrative that we can start convincing ourselves of after the rookie infielder for the Boston Red Sox went deep for the fifth consecutive game.
The latest came leading off the top of the fifth inning in Thursday night’s game in Tampa Bay. Rays starter Josh Fleming threw a changeup low in the zone on a 1-0 count and Dalbec reached down and smacked it 377 feet to the opposite field.
The solo shot briefly gave the Red Sox the lead. While the Rays would tie the game in the bottom of the inning, Boston would eventually win 4-3 and couldn’t have done so without the latest Bobby Bomb.
Dalbec sports a modest .250 batting average, racking up nine hits in his first 36 at-bats. Six of those nine hits have left the yard though.
His fifth consecutive game with a home run extended his own Red Sox rookie record. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Dalbec is the first player in the modern era (since 1900) with a five-game home run streak within his first 10 career games. Prior to this, the earliest career game a player began a five-game home run streak was 14 by Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins (2017).
Dalbec is the first Red Sox player with six home runs in his first 10 career games. Prior to last night when Dalbec joined the club, only four players in major league history had ever homered six times in their first 10 career games: Aristides Aquino (7, CIN-2019), Trevor Story (7, COL-2016), Kyle Lewis (6, SEA-2019), and Dino Restelli (6, PIT-1949), per NESN’s Guerin Austin.
The rookie put the league on notice with a home run in his major league debut before falling into a rut. Dalbec went 0-for-14 with nine strikeouts over his next four games to fall to an anemic .111/.158/.333 slash line.
Then the streak began. Dalbec is 7-for-18 during his five-game home run streak. Strikeouts remain a problem and he’s not walking nearly enough for a player who is emerging as a massive power threat, although that may change as pitchers learn to pitch more carefully to him.
Boston has won three of their last five games during Dalbec’s streak. His presence in the lineup is having a clear impact on turning this dismal season around. Although, at this point, we have to wonder if that’s a good thing. The latest victory put the Red Sox two games behind Pittsburgh and a game behind Texas in the race for the coveted No. 1 pick in next year’s draft.
The streak will end eventually but it’s been a wild ride for the rookie that has put him in the conversation for one of the best 10-game samples to begin a career in MLB history.