Shaw has huge day following latest callup
Red Sox prospect homers twice, scores five times and finishes a triple shy of a cycle
BOSTON -- Travis Shaw knows the drill by now because he's lived it a few times this season. When the Red Sox have a nagging injury to a corner infielder, he usually gets the call from Triple-A Pawtucket.
Shaw typically doesn't know how long his stay will be, or how he'll be used during it. But if Shaw keeps contributing like he did during a monster Saturday afternoon at Fenway while leading the Red Sox to an 11-7 victory over the Rays, he will soon graduate from the I-95 shuttle between Boston and Pawtucket.
With Pablo Sandoval unavailable again due to a left forearm contusion, Shaw got the call up to Boston for the fifth time in 2015 and was activated for Saturday's game against the Rays.
The 25-year-old responded in the following way, in chronological order: Double to left; home run to right; single to left-center; walk; home run to center. It was his first double and the first home runs of his career.
That added up to a 4-for-4 day with five runs scored, the most by a Red Sox player since Dustin Pedroia on Aug. 12, 2008. The five runs were the most by a Red Sox rookie since Walt Dropo on June 8, 1950.
"Travis looks like he's been here for years -- the way he swung the bat today, the way he's played third base," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "He made a key tag for a big out in that sixth inning."
Shaw was actually a triple away from the cycle by the fifth inning. In the eighth, Shaw jolted one to center -- but it had too much on it for a triple. It landed on the covered seats in dead center.
"It's in your head, everybody's talking about [the cycle]," said Shaw. "If you hit the ball in the gap, everybody's like, 'Don't stop running.' But I'll take the homer."
Though Shaw, ranked No. 28 among Red Sox prospects by MLBPipeline.com, hasn't received the same buzz as some others in the farm system, his power tool from the left side makes him a player to keep an eye on.
He also has Major League genes in the family. His father is Jeff Shaw, a former Major League closer with 203 career saves and a teammate of Farrell's with the 1990 Cleveland Indians.
"Jeff never shut up," said Farrell. "Travis is quiet. They both have the last name Shaw, but [they are] very different. Jeff in his own right had a great career as a closer. It makes you feel old that your teammates' kids are now playing for you. Son of a Major Leaguer, maybe that's why a lot of this he keeps in stride. He's been around this his entire life."
Shaw hadn't spoken to dad quite yet when he spoke to the media after Saturday's game.
"No. I haven't talked to anybody yet," said Shaw. "Phone kind of blew up so it will take a while to go through all of those."
This was the second time Shaw has contributed with a batch of hits upon arrival. He had a three-hit game against the Marlins on July 7 right after being called up.
Perhaps Shaw has earned himself another start on Sunday.
"It's sort of out of my control," said Shaw. "I just control what I can control each day I'm in the lineup up here and try to make the most out of it and hopefully that speaks for itself."