MILWAUKEE -- It took Mookie Betts all of seven pitches to make his presence felt on Tuesday night at Miller Park, as he smashed the ninth leadoff homer of his career, not to mention his longest drive of the Statcast™ era at a projected distance of 433 feet.Though the Red
MILWAUKEE -- It took Mookie Betts all of seven pitches to make his presence felt on Tuesday night at Miller Park, as he smashed the ninth leadoff homer of his career, not to mention his longest drive of the Statcast™ era at a projected distance of 433 feet.
Though the Red Sox wound up with an 11-7 loss to the Brewers, Betts never stopped having an impact on the baseball and the game.
The star right fielder kept his team in it with a monster 4-for-4 performance that also included two doubles, four RBIs and a walk.
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The recent decision by manager John Farrell to move Betts back to leadoff has served as a reminder of how electrifying the outfielder can be from the top of the order.
"I just try and do what I can from whatever position," Betts said. "I think there, I'm able to get on base and score from first, or steal some bags, and try to get the guys behind me some pitches to hit. Wherever I am, I try to do what I can."
And at his best, Betts is one of the premier players in the game. Keon Broxton, who had a big night of his own for the Brewers, enjoyed getting to see Betts perform live for the first time.
"This is my first time [meeting him]. I met him before BP and got a chance to talk to him. That guy ... two strikes, he's still dangerous," Broxton said. "That's one thing I picked up early: With two strikes, he's a dangerous hitter. I think all his hits came with two strikes. He's a dangerous hitter, a tough out."
It was an exquisite show of dominance Betts produced on Tuesday, as he saw 28 pitches in his five plate appearances. As Broxton noted, all four hits came with two strikes. In addition, each pitch Betts got a hit on was a fastball clocked at 95 mph or faster.
"He was perfect tonight and it seemed like every pitch he was on," Red Sox assistant hitting coach Victor Rodriguez said. "It didn't matter how hard or how soft. Right now, he's just swinging as good as he can do it."
The performance came on the heels of Betts' performance in Minnesota on Sunday, when he went 3-for-6 with a double and a homer.
"A big night," Farrell said. "Mookie is swinging the bat exceptionally well on this road trip, as is Andrew [Benintendi]. The top part of our lineup was everything we could've hoped for, once again. You put up seven runs on the board, you think that's a night you're going to be in it, certainly have a chance to win it."
It certainly looks like Betts is ready to go on a tear, the type he had a few of last year while finishing second to Michael Trout in the American League's Most Valuable Player Award voting.
"I just think he's getting pitches in the middle of the plate, and he's not missing," Farrell said. "We've seen for almost two years now when he gets in one of these runs, it's a lot of hard contact, impact to the baseball, and extra-base hits are pretty frequent. And he's in that spot right now."
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.