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Benintendi singles self out in record books

Young outfielder has history-making performance amid Boston homer display
Special to MLB.com

BALTIMORE -- On the day power returned to the Red Sox lineup, Andrew Benintendi's singles stood out. On the day veteran Hanley Ramirez smacked his first home run of the season, the rookie outfielder had historians dusting off the team record book. On the day the Red Sox avoided a sweep with a 6-2 win over the Orioles, Benintendi was both lucky and good.

Benintendi went 5-for-5 as the Red Sox claimed the series finale Sunday. The 22-year-old became the youngest Red Sox player with at least five hits in a game since Tony Conigliaro on April 16, 1967, at the New York Yankees and the youngest to go 5-for-5 since Joe Cronin in 1929. No player younger than Benintendi has gone 5-for-5 for any team since Eric Hosmer pulled off the feat in 2011.

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BALTIMORE -- On the day power returned to the Red Sox lineup, Andrew Benintendi's singles stood out. On the day veteran Hanley Ramirez smacked his first home run of the season, the rookie outfielder had historians dusting off the team record book. On the day the Red Sox avoided a sweep with a 6-2 win over the Orioles, Benintendi was both lucky and good.

Benintendi went 5-for-5 as the Red Sox claimed the series finale Sunday. The 22-year-old became the youngest Red Sox player with at least five hits in a game since Tony Conigliaro on April 16, 1967, at the New York Yankees and the youngest to go 5-for-5 since Joe Cronin in 1929. No player younger than Benintendi has gone 5-for-5 for any team since Eric Hosmer pulled off the feat in 2011.

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There was some good fortune involved, but Benintendi has already shown he's a pro at the plate. He hit two lasers to right field. One hit fell safely in an open area in shallow left. Another ricocheted off the glove of Baltimore starter Kevin Gausman. The final single, in the 9th, was a hard groundball up the middle.

"All fields," Red Sox manager John Farrell said about what he liked with the rookie's approach. "He caught a break on a couple of them, obviously. … He's got such good plate coverage and the ability to address a number of different type of pitches. That was the case today."

The steady and spectacular performance was the first five-hit game in the Majors this season, and raised Benintendi's batting average to .347. The American League Rookie of the Year contender has reached base multiple times in six of his last seven games, batting .500 (15-for-30) in that stretch.

"I got in some counts I thought I could put good swings on balls," Benintendi said of his five-hit performance. "Obviously a couple of them were pretty fortunate, but [you] take them anyway you can."

Benintendi sat out Saturday's 4-2 loss. Baltimore clearly wishes he'd be given another day off.

"After a day off, he looked refreshed and bounced back with a positive day," Farrell noted.

The Red Sox finished with 14 hits, including three home runs after totaling only eight longballs in their first 18 games. They were the only Major League team yet to crack double digits on the season.

"Everybody talks about how we haven't hit home runs," Benintendi said. "I don't see what the problem is. We're getting on base and scoring runs."

Certainly he is.

Ben Standig is a contributor to MLB.com.

Boston Red Sox, Andrew Benintendi