Devers sets Red Sox record with HRs in 6 straight games

May 21st, 2024

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Fenway Park. Busch Stadium. Tropicana Field. For , the venue doesn’t matter these days. Put a bat in his hand and he’s going to go deep.

On Monday night at Tropicana Field, Devers set a team record by hitting a home run in his sixth consecutive game while helping his Red Sox to a 5-0 victory over the Rays in the opener of a three-game series.

Devers is the first Major Leaguer to homer in as many as six straight games since Mike Trout hit taters in seven consecutive games from Sept. 4-12, 2022. While three players are tied for the record with eight consecutive games with a homer, six players have had streaks of seven consecutive games with a homer. Recent streaks include when Joey Votto had a seven-game streak from July 24-30, 2021, and Paul Goldschmidt cleared the fences in six straight games from July 22-27, 2019.

“Of course, I'm very proud to be in that conversation with [Trout] and in that position,” Devers said. “Obviously, we know the type of superstar he is. He’s a future Hall of Famer and a superstar. To be on the same level with him is very nice.”

If Devers can homer in his next two games, he would tie the all-time record held by the following three players: Ken Griffey Jr. (1993 Mariners), Don Mattingly (‘87 Yankees) and Dale Long (‘56 Pirates). On Tuesday, he’ll face Rays starter Zack Littell, against whom Devers homered on Thursday in the second game of this streak.

“He's a freak,” winning pitcher Tanner Houck said of Devers. “I mean, that guy can hit any pitch at any time and to see what he's done, he’s just an incredible player.”

The latest chapter in the third baseman’s power surge came on a night Houck turned in another strong start for the Red Sox. The righty allowed two hits over seven scoreless frames, walking one and striking out five.

After homering in the final two games of a four-game series against the Rays last week at Fenway and in all three games at Busch Stadium against the Cardinals over the weekend, Devers bashed a two-run shot to left in the top of the fourth against fireballing Rays righty Taj Bradley to keep the streak going.

Devers punctuated the shot with a bat flip and a staredown of the baseball as it took flight. He punched his chest as he started to round the bases. And his teammates got loud when he returned to the dugout.

“When I got to the dugout and I saw my teammates it was a special moment for sure,” Devers said.

His 10th homer of the season left his bat at an exit velocity of 104.5 mph and traveled a Statcast-projected distance of 382 feet. It would have been a home run in 28 of MLB’s 30 ballparks, with Truist Park and Camden Yards serving as the only exceptions.

Only six other Red Sox players (Jimmie Foxx, Ted Williams, Dick Stuart, George Scott, Jose Canseco and Bobby Dalbec) had homered in five straight games before Devers equaled that feat on Sunday afternoon.

"You take in where Raffy Devers is right now, he's probably the hottest hitter in baseball, and he's doing a lot of special things at the plate,” said Rays manager Kevin Cash.

One of the most impressive things about this surge for Devers is that none of the homers have been straight pull shots. Three have been to straightaway center, two have gone to the opposite field in left and one was to right-center.

Devers is so talented that he is on this power binge while not even being in his best hitting groove.

“Little by little, he’s feeling comfortable. I don’t think he’s there yet,” said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. “Probably if you ask him, he’s not there yet. He knows he needs to be more consistent, and that’s what we’re trying to accomplish. He can hit the ball in the air and hit homers. Right now, it’s impressive. I’m not taking away from what he’s doing. It’s just being very real to where we’re at and where he’s at.”

The hyper-competitive Devers didn’t disagree with his manager.

“I've been only getting one hit per game and that's not me,” Devers said. “I like to get more singles and I feel like I've been missing a lot of my pitches. So for me to be myself I need to get more hits every game instead of just one per game. Of course, the [homers] are very important hits. But at the same time, I'm not up there yet.”

Once Devers is in full swing, it should really be something to behold for the Red Sox.