Red Sox

Xander Bogaerts joins even more elite company with his latest home run

Xander Bogaerts joins even more elite company with his latest home run

Xander Bogaerts is hotter than the weather right now and with each home run, the Hall of Fame company he joins gets smaller, but better.

His first-inning shot over everything at Fenway gave him at least one hit, one RBI and one run scored in eight consecutive games.

Only one other player has done that for the Red Sox.

Ted Williams. 

Of course, the greatest hitter of all time did it twice - an eight-game streak in 1942 and 11 in a row in 1950 (h/t to Twitter's @SoxNotes for the numbers).

The record for consecutive games with an RBI is 17, set by the Chicago Cubs' Ray Grimes in 1922. 

After his fifth homer and 13th RBI since July 4, the All-Star shortstop's batting average for July is up to .385 and .309 overall. 

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Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodriguez does his best Barry Bonds' impression at plate

Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodriguez does his best Barry Bonds' impression at plate

Eduardo Rodriguez is still searching for that elusive first major league hit (he's 0-for-17, including the World Series last year) so when he strode to the plate for the first time Friday night, he had a home run king's accessory with him.

It didn't help.

As he documented on Instagram, Rodriguez had a Barry Bonds-like cross earring hanging from him when he batted in the second inning (he said fellow pitcher Chris Sale put him up to it). Alas, no dingers, not even a seeing-eye single for the Red Sox lefty from Venezuela.

Still, Rodriguez did manage to reach on an error and score his first major league run, he also laid down a sacrifice bunt in the Sox' 11-0 rout of the Padres at Petco Park. Sox pitchers have been taking batting practice as they get to hit in NL parks on this trip to San Diego and Colorado.

Teammate J.D. Martinez, whose two-homer, seven-RBI night backed E-Rod's stellar pitching (seven scoreless innings), had a harsher critique of E-Rod's swing than he did of the Sox' all-black Players Weekend uniforms.

"I mean, he's bad. I think the catcher was laughing at him at home plate today. That's what he was saying: `You can't hit, man, not with that swing.' "

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J.D. Martinez's power, Eduardo Rodriguez' pitching get crucial Red Sox trip off to good start

J.D. Martinez's power, Eduardo Rodriguez' pitching get crucial Red Sox trip off to good start

J.D. Martinez has had a four-homer game, but seven RBI? That was unchartered territory.

Until Friday night in San Diego.

Martinez hit a pair of three-run homers and had a sacrifice fly in the Red Sox' 11-0 romp over the Padres at Petco Park. The seven runs driven in were a career-high for Martinez, who became the first Boston player to do it since Mookie Betts had eight in 2017, the same season Martinez had a four-homer game for the Arizona Diamondbacks. 

"I'm always just grinding and trying to figure out what adjustment I have to make, how to tweak my swing to get it where I want it to be for that game and that pitcher," Martinez told reporters after the game.

He also wanted to talk about the hitting exploits of his teammate, pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez, who reached on an error, scored his first major league run and laid down a sacrifice bunt in addition to his seven innings of shutout pitching.

Martinez wasn't complimentary.

"I mean, he's bad," he said of E-Rod at the plate. "I think the catcher was laughing at him at home plate today. That's what he was saying: `You can't hit, man, not with that swing.' "

Rodriguez won his career-high 15th game as the Red Sox, fighting for the playoff lives as they open an eight-game Western swing, closed to 6 1/2 games back of the second AL-wild card spot. 

And they did it wearing the all-black road uniforms (home teams wear all white) for MLB's Players Weekend, in which nicknames can be substituted for last names on the backs of jerseys - Rodriguez went with his childhood moniker of "El Gualo" and Martinez with "Flaco" - and specially designed cleats can be worn.

The Red Sox had been swept in their previous two Players Weekend series in 2017 and '18, so Friday marked their first victory in seven tries wearing the funky unis. Martinez had a slightly better review of the new threads than former Sox manager Terry Francona of the Cleveland Indians.

“I like them, I guess,” Martinez told The Boston Globe. “I had a good game in them. If I do that tomorrow I might not take them off.”

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