BOSTON -- With a steal of second base in the second inning of Wednesday afternoon's 19-3 win over the Orioles, Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts joined elite company by becoming the 40th player in MLB history to tally 30 stolen bases and 30 home runs in a season."It's a special
BOSTON -- With a steal of second base in the second inning of Wednesday afternoon's 19-3 win over the Orioles, Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts joined elite company by becoming the 40th player in MLB history to tally 30 stolen bases and 30 home runs in a season.
"It's a special accomplishment," the Red Sox outfielder said. "I don't know how much it really means, but to have your name as part of a group like that is pretty cool. I just try to do whatever I can to win the game."
After making numerous attempts following a leadoff single in the first, only to have Andrew Benintendi continue to foul away pitches, Betts made sure to let the man hitting behind him know that he was going for it.
"I said something to him when we got back in the dugout," Betts explained. "Just telling him, 'You have to let me go, have to give me a shot.' He was good about it."
That chance came on an 0-2 slider to Benintendi the next inning. With his career-best 30th stolen base, Betts became the second player this season to join the 30-30 club, alongside Cleveland's Jose Ramirez (38 home runs, 33 stolen bases).
Betts, who has a career-best 32 home runs this year, also became just the second Red Sox player to accomplish the feat, joining Jacoby Ellsbury (2011).
• Every 30-30 season, ranked by club
"I mean he, hit 30 homers, I believe, my first year here," said Boston starter David Price. "I feel like I always believed he'd steal 30 bases. But to do both of those the same season and hit .345 or whatever he's hitting right now, that's very special. He's our MVP, and I believe he's the MVP in all of baseball."
Betts and Ramirez are the first two players to reach the mark since 2012, when Michael Trout (30 home runs, 49 stolen bases) and Ryan Braun (41 home runs, 30 stolen bases) both joined the club.
After the first game of Wednesday's twin bill, the American League Most Valuable Player Award candidate was leading the Majors in batting average (.346), slugging (.643), runs (126) and extra-base hits (84).
"I'm just going to keep going out and playing, doing whatever I can to help win these last few games and get ready for the postseason," Betts said.
Craig Forde is a contributor to MLB.com.