BOSTON -- Rafael Devers didn't call his own shot on Saturday with his latest missile of a home run. But he did join a club in which the only other member is Babe Ruth.With his solo shot in the Red Sox's 4-3 loss to the Yankees, Devers joined the Bambino
BOSTON -- Rafael Devers didn't call his own shot on Saturday with his latest missile of a home run. But he did join a club in which the only other member is Babe Ruth.
With his solo shot in the Red Sox's 4-3 loss to the Yankees, Devers joined the Bambino as the only players younger than 21 to hit homers in three straight games against the Bronx Bombers.
The 20-year-old Devers belted his homer off Adam Warren to the triangle area in right-center, which is the deepest part of Fenway Park, to bring his team within a run in the bottom of the seventh.
"That's the first time I'm hearing about it," Devers said of joining Ruth in that rare club. "I just try to treat every team the same, and I plan on playing the same way against any team I face."
Ruth was also playing for the Red Sox when he achieved the feat as a 20-year-old in 1915. In fact, those three home runs were the first three of the 714 he would hit in his career -- most of them coming for the Yankees.
Devers has sure looked like a sultan of swat in his first 20 games. The rookie is slashing .364/.424/.727 with four doubles, eight homers and 16 RBIs.
"It's hard not to smile every time he does something out there," said Red Sox ace Chris Sale, who took the loss. "You see a kid out there playing the game, and he's playing it the right way, playing it with a lot of heart. He's put a lot of work in and I think it's obviously paying off."
The Yankees have seen it up close the last two weekends, as yet another fresh face has joined the rivalry.
"He's playing extremely well," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "He's hot, he's playing extremely well and he's hitting the ball out of the ballpark. It's changed [their lineup]."
The left-handed-hitting Devers joins George Scott (1966) as the only Red Sox players in the last 100 years to go deep as many as eight times in their first 20 games of a career.
By going deep in the first two games of this three-game series against the Yankees, Devers joined Ted Williams and Tony Conigliaro as the only hitters in the last 100 years to homer in consecutive games at Fenway before the age of 21.
"I've always played that way my entire life," said Devers. "Even for how young I am, I've been playing this game for a little while now. Just trying to give the best of me each day."
The Red Sox are enjoying the show. Even with Saturday's loss, Boston is on a 13-3 run since July 31.
"He's very special," said Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. "He's been doing everything you possibly can do. What more can you ask for? He's been able to step up in big situations, and he's handled it like he's a veteran."
The Yankees were able to prevent Devers from another game-tying homer in the ninth, like the one he had last weekend, when Dellin Betances struck him out on three pitches.
"There's no secret, man. He's hot right now," said Betances. "I just tried to mix my pitches as best as I can, and I was able to get him. But he's been impressive."
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.