Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers played hero when he crushed a three-run homerun to right field in the fourth inning for 5-4 lead and eventual win on Friday night against the Cincinnati Reds.
Despite taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning, this game looked as if it was out of reach for Boston after Cincinnati took a three-run lead in the home half of the first when Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett hit a grand slam – something the Red Sox have yet to do this season .
The fourth inning is when the offense came alive for Boston after catcher Christian Vazquez doubled to drive in right fielder Mookie Betts to make the game 4-2 – and with two on, Devers came to the dish and sent a bomb to right to take a 5-4 lead.
The Reds could not string together any more runs in the game and Boston would walk off the diamond with the win – good for their 89th win of the year.
With the win, Boston extended their lead over the New York Yankees (85-68) in the American League East division to four games since New York lost to the Toronto Blue Jays (72-82) 8-1.
The magic number to clinch the division is now down to six games. Boston clinched a playoff spot at 1:48 AM on Thursday morning after the Cleveland Indians (96-57) beat the Los Angeles Angels (76-77).
Game MVP: Rafael Devers: he went 2-for-4 on the night, including that three-run home run in the fourth inning to give Boston the lead and win.
Honorable mention: David Price: The starter-turned-relief pitcher pitched 2.2 innings, giving up three hits and struck out four. He also had a double on the night.
Fun fact: This was Devers’ first home run since Aug. 19 – 107 bats ago.
What’s on deck – the Red Sox (89-64) continue their weekend set with the Reds (66-88) on Saturday afternoon when they send Eduardo Rodriguez (5-6, 4.15 ERA) to the mound to oppose Robert Stephenson (5-5, 5.01 ERA).
First pitch is set for 4:10 p.m.