Red Sox

Cozy dimensions, hot weather could make it Home Run Derby for Red Sox, Yankees in London

Cozy dimensions, hot weather could make it Home Run Derby for Red Sox, Yankees in London

It's no short porch like right field Yankee Stadium (supposedly 314 feet) or left field at Fenway (an oft-disputed 310), but the cozy dimensions for the first Major League Baseball game in Europe at London Stadum - and a record heat wave across the continent - could send balls flying across the pond today.

Add in MLB's record home run pace (teams had combined for 3,311 entering the weekend and the 1,135 in May were the most ever in a month) and with the Yankees entering the two-game series with the Red Sox having homered in a record 29 consecutive games, and it could be a challenge to keep the ball in the park.

It's just 385 feet to center field (shorter than any MLB park) and 330 down each line. The fence is 16 feet high (compared to say, Camden Yards in Baltimore's 7-foot fences). Also, the stadium is encircled with an overhang that includes metal rings - the outfield ones are 400 feet from home plate and 100 feet high - reachable by a batted ball.

Perhaps offsetting the cozy dimensions is the expansive foul ground. More than any MLB stadium and 3,000 more square feet than the Oakland Coliseum, which has the most foul territory in the majors. Still, it's tight behind the plate with only 43 feet to the backstop from the plate, the third-shortest distance compared to MLB fields.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone seemed more concerned with the speed of the artificial surface that was installed over the natural grass soccer field.

They'll be a few touches of home - "Sweet Caroline" will be played in the eighth inning - and borrowing from the Washington Nationals' between inning "Racing Presidents", this one will feature the enlarged heads of British icons Winston Churchill, Henry VIII, the Loch Ness Monster and Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury in a sprint around the Olympic track that encircles the field.

Which team will the crowd of 60,000-plus in temperatures nearing 90 be pulling for? Red Sox season ticket holders purchased an average of 5,831 seats for each game and Yankees season ticket holders 4,752. 

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Rafael Devers sets Red Sox record for home runs by a third baseman

Rafael Devers sets Red Sox record for home runs by a third baseman

In another disappointing loss in a disappointing Red Sox season, Rafael Devers continues to make history.

Saturday, in the Red Sox' second consecutive 5-4, walk-off loss to the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field, Devers added the Sox home run record for third baseman to his resume.

The 22-year-old from the Dominican Republic brought the Sox back from a 3-1 deficit with a two-run homer in the eighth inning with an opposite-field shot to left - his 31st of the season - surpassing Butch Hobson's Red Sox mark of 30 in 1977.

Per the Boston Globe's Peter Abraham, Devers met Hobson, a Sox third baseman from 1975-80 who also managed the team from 1992-94, this past January at the Red Sox Winter Weekend at Foxwoods, but he said he was unaware he had set the record until being told after the game. 

“No, this is actually the first time I’m hearing this,” Devers said through his interpreter after the game, “It’s pretty cool, but obviously it’s a record I broke now but there’s more records I want to continue to break. So it’s just about trying to stay healthy and moving forward, try to break as many records as I can.”

Devers (.307, 50 doubles, 112 RBI) is just the second third baseman in Major League Baseball history with a 30-homer, 50-double season (the Astros' Alex Bregman did it last season) and he and Xander Bogaerts are the first teammates to reach the 30-50 mark in the same season.

Bogaerts (.305, 51 doubles) hit his 32nd homer and drove in his 110th run Saturday, putting himself in Devers' in more exclusive company. 

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Highlights of the Red Sox' 5-4, 11-inning loss to the Rays

Highlights of the Red Sox' 5-4, 11-inning loss to the Rays

FINAL SCORE:  Rays 5, Red Sox 4

IN BRIEF: A night after being officially eliminated, the visiting Red Sox go ahead in the 11th inning on a Mitch Moreland home run, but lose 5-4 to the Tampa Bay Rays on Nate Lowe's walk-off, two-run homer. The Sox lost by the same score in 11 on a Rays walk-off hit Friday night. BOX SCORE

RED SOX RECORD: 80-74

HIGHLIGHTS

3rd inning:
(Shawaryn replaces Poyner on the mound) Meadows singles to right, moves to second when Choi walks,  d'Arnaud singles, scoring Meadows (1-0, TB).

Duffy hit by a pitch, loading the bases (Brewer replaces Shawaryn on the mound), Wendle singles to right, Choi scores, d'Arnaud out at home (2-0, TB)

4th inning:
Bogaerts homers to left off Glasnow on a 0-and-1 pitch (2-1, TB).

5th inning:
PLAYING LF, HOLT PULLS ONE IN

7th inning:
(Taylor replaces Weber on the mound) Adames homers to center on a 0-1 pitch (3-1, TB). 

8th inning:
(Anderson replaces Poche on the mound) Betts singles to left. Devers hits a two-run homer to left on a 1-1 pitch (tied, 3-3).  

11th inning:
(Castillo replaces Pagan on the mound) Moreland homers to right on a 0-0 pitch (4-3, BOS).

(J. Smith replaces Workman on the mound) d'Arnaud doubles to center, Davis pinch runs, Lowe hits a two-run homer to left on a 2-0 pitch (5-4, TB).

UP NEXT:

@Rays, Sunday, 1:10 p.m., NESN
@Rangers, Tuesday, 8:05 p.m., NESN
@Rangers, Wednesday, 8:05 p.m., NESN
@Rangers, Thursday, 2:05 p.m., NESN