Red Sox

Why did Pedro Martinez choose No. 45?

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Why did Pedro Martinez choose No. 45?

BOSTON - You'll never see another player wearing the No. 45 other than Pedro Martinez, and that's how it should be.

But is the No. 45 really that desirable to begin with?

It wasn't for Pedro Martinez. It was just the closest number he could get to his brother Ramon's, he said Tuesday after his number was retired at Fenway Park.

If you know Pedro, you know that his older brother Ramon was his idol growing up. He wanted to be just like him. That was so much the case that he even wanted his number to be as close to Ramon's as possible.

In 1992 with the Dodgers, Pedro's first year in the big leagues, Ramon wore No. 48, also with the Dodgers. Pedro wanted 47, but Tom Goodwin had it. No. 46 was taken by Kevin Gross. And No. 49 was taken by Tom Candiotti.

That left No. 45 as the closest number to his brother's No. 48, and that's how Martinez chose it. Pretty simple reasoning, actually.

Later on, Martinez would realize that Cardinals pitching legend Bob Gibson also wore No. 45 during his Hall of Fame career

"Now I'm extremely honored to carry the same number because if you look at our history, there's something linked between me and Bob Gibson," Martinez said. "Mad man on the mound . . . I was pretty much the same way and we were wearing the same number."

Michael Chavis bolsters AL Rookie of the Year case in latest Red Sox win

Michael Chavis bolsters AL Rookie of the Year case in latest Red Sox win

Dustin Pedroia was the last Boston Red Sox player to win American League Rookie of the Year in 2007, and Michael Chavis is doing his best to potentially join the veteran second baseman among the award's winners.

Chavis blasted a grand slam in Boston's 10-8 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park on Monday night, becoming the first Red Sox rookie to do it since Mookie Betts in 2014. 

The 23-year-old first baseman now leads AL rookies with 52 RBI. Among AL rookies, Chavis' 16 home runs rank tied for second, his 73 hits rank second, his 40 runs are tied for first, his 27 walks are tied for second, his .330 on-base percentage ranks second and his 1.1 WAR ranks third.

Chavis, overall, is hitting .259 with 16 home runs and 52 RBI in 282 at-bats over 73 games. This is a pretty good stat line for a player with no Major League Baseball experience before 2019.

Chavis has plenty of competition for AL Rookie of the Year. Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Brandon Lowe and Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher John Means are the two favorites. But if Chavis is able to remain a key part of the Red Sox lineup on a consistent basis, he should be among the top candidates for the award when the regular season concludes, especially if his performance helps Boston earn a postseason berth.

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Xander Bogaerts joins Hall of Famers as hot streak hits historic level

Xander Bogaerts joins Hall of Famers as hot streak hits historic level

The Boston Red Sox have won five of their last seven games despite some less-than-stellar pitching.

And they have Xander Bogaerts in large part to thank.

Bogaerts stayed scorching hot Monday night, going 3-for-5 with one RBI and two runs scored to help the Red Sox defeat the Toronto Blue Jays 10-8 at Fenway Park.

With that performance, the Sox shortstop now has recorded at least one hit, one RBI and one run scored in seven consecutive games. That puts Bogaerts in some very elite company.

Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, Jimmie Foxx and Joe Cronin all have their numbers retired at Fenway Park and are members of the Baseball Hall of Fame, while Troy O'Leary was a solid outfielder for Boston in the late 1990s.

Bogaerts still has four games to go to catch Williams (the Chicago Cubs' Ray Grimes owns the MLB record of 17 consecutive games with an RBI) but he's still put up some eye-popping numbers of late.

The 26-year-old has amassed 12 hits in that seven-game span to raise his batting average to .307 while adding 12 RBIs and four home runs since July 4.

Bogaerts has been Boston's best hitter in a lineup with plenty of big bats as he continues to earn every dollar of his recent contract extension.

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