Red Sox

Rafael Devers follows up great defensive play with home run in impressive sequence

Rafael Devers follows up great defensive play with home run in impressive sequence

Rafael Devers may leave you scratching your head sometimes, but when he flashes his potential it's a sight to behold. 

During the Red Sox 4-1 win over the Astros Sunday, the 22-year-old slugger made his mark with a terrific defensive play in the bottom of the third inning and a monster solo home run in the top of the fourth. 

The barehanded throw not only retired a dangerous hitter in Carlos Correa, but it kept another runner off base and prevented a run from scoring. Devers has had his fair share of terrible throws from third base in his career, so I'm sure Red Sox fans were holding their breath during this one. 

Devers had a home run taken away from him Saturday when he launched a ball into Minute Maid Park's roof over right field. It could have cost the Sox a game too after Christian Vazquez tied the score at 3-3 in the ninth inning only for Matt Barnes to blow the save in the bottom half.

The Astros had the bases loaded with no outs when Correa hit a walk-off single, so Houston probably would have won anyway. But you never know, and what turned out as a double for Devers would have been long gone in an outdoor park. 

Against Justin Verlander, Devers kept the ball away from the right-field roof by plastering a pitch over the center-field wall. It proved to be the difference in the end after the Astros only managed one run. 

Devers has continued to hit the ball at a career-best pace to start 2019, and the Sox are all the better for it. If he can continue to be a consistent presence in the lineup, it raises the ceiling for a Boston team with more than enough talent to compete for a second consecutive World Series title. 

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Highlights from the Red Sox' 7-4 win over the Rays

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USA Today Sports Images

Highlights from the Red Sox' 7-4 win over the Rays

FINAL SCORE:  Red Sox 7, Rays 4

IN BRIEF: Christian Vazquez's three-run home run in the first inning proved to be the big knock of the game for the Red Sox as they avoided a 3-0 hole in their series with the Rays Sunday. 

BOX SCORE

RED SOX RECORD: 81-74

HIGHLIGHTS

1st inning

J.D. Martinez singled to right, Devers scored (1-0 BOS)
Christian Vazquez smacked a three-run home run to left, Martinez and Bogaerts scored (4-0 BOS)

Tommy Pham grounded into a double play, Wendle came around to score (4-1 BOS)

2nd inning

Kevin Kiermaier singled to center, Lowe scored (4-2 BOS)

THE BEST KIND OF DOUBLE PLAY

3rd inning

Joey Wendle hit a solo home run to left (4-3 BOS)

4th inning

Martinez walked, Bradley Jr. scored (5-3 BOS)
Rafael Devers scored on a wild pitch from Andrew Kittredge (6-3 BOS)

7th inning

Martinez scored on throwing error by Wendle (7-3 BOS)

9th inning

McKay blasted a solo home run (7-4 BOS)

UP NEXT:
@Rangers, Tuesday, 8:05 p.m., NESN
@Rangers, Wednesday, 8:05 p.m., NESN
@Rangers, Thursday, 2:05 p.m., NESN

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Report: Red Sox front office perceived as 'miserable place to work'

Report: Red Sox front office perceived as 'miserable place to work'

With Dave Dombrowski out as Red Sox president of baseball operations, who will be the team's next general manager? 

It seems like a desirable job: the team consistently has one of the top payrolls in the league, and the franchise has won four World Series titles in the last 16 seasons. But it's not that simple. Not even close.

The last two men in charge of baseball operations — Ben Cherington and Dombrowski — were shown the door quickly after winning championships, and those moves are painting the Red Sox in a very bad light, according to ESPN's Buster Olney.

These decisions loosely frame the industry perception of the Red Sox as a chaotic company, a miserable place to work. Boston owner John Henry needs to understand this, because it is why some of the people he'd probably love to consider as possible replacements for Dombrowski privately dismiss the idea out of hand.

Olney writes that some potential candidates have no interest in working for Henry, because they "doubt he'd have the patience to back his next general manager through the difficult crossroads ahead." That includes the impending free agency of Mookie Betts, a potential opt-out from J.D. Martinez, and an expensive rotation fraught with injuries, among other issues.

The key to a successful leadership transition in the front office might be Sam Kennedy, who has been the team's president for four years following the departure of Larry Lucchino. As Olney explains:  

A wide-held view in other front offices is that the highly respected and well-liked Red Sox president Sam Kennedy stands as a thin buffer between the team devolving to the level of the Mets, the team generally regarded by rival executives as baseball's model for dysfunction. "If Sam ever walked away," said one official, "the whole thing would be a complete mess."

From a 108-win season and a World Series to the possibility of becoming a complete mess, it's amazing how quickly the tide has turned for the Red Sox.

TOMASE: Why Theo Epstein could be the man for the job>>>>>

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