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Bogaerts, A-Rod only SS with 50 2Bs, 30 HRs

X joins Devers as first pair of Sox to hit 50 doubles in same season
@IanMBrowne
September 13, 2019

TORONTO -- Xander Bogaerts has become the milestone man for the Red Sox this season. The one he reached on Thursday at Rogers Centre is the most impressive yet. By roping his 50th double of the season against former teammate Clay Buchholz in the third inning of his team’s 7-4

TORONTO -- Xander Bogaerts has become the milestone man for the Red Sox this season. The one he reached on Thursday at Rogers Centre is the most impressive yet.

By roping his 50th double of the season against former teammate Clay Buchholz in the third inning of his team’s 7-4 victory, Bogaerts joined Alex Rodriguez (1996) as the only shortstops in Major League history to have 50 doubles and 30 homers in the same season. David Ortiz (2007) is the only other Red Sox player to reach that club, which Rafael Devers is one homer away from joining.

Box score

“Hopefully he hits it soon,” Bogaerts said of Devers. “As soon as I came into the dugout, I saw him waiting for me, so the pressure’s on him now, and he’ll come through.”

Bogaerts notched his 50th double just two days after his teammate and close friend Devers reached that mark. They are the first duo in Red Sox history to have 50 doubles in the same season. In fact, Bogaerts became just the ninth Boston player ever to hit that many doubles.

“These weren’t goals I set coming into the season,” said Bogaerts. “I mean, I had no idea who did any of this or anything like that. But once I started getting a lot of doubles, getting a lot of homers and then you start hearing stuff, and you’re like, ‘Oh.’ It’s just a mentality and approach to go and get it, and I’m happy I did it. It’s been a while since I had a double. I’ve been hitting a lot of balls in the infield, and you can’t get a double hitting ground balls in the infield, so it was good.”

Bogaerts hit the mark just five days after getting his 1,000th career hit on his mother’s birthday. He was only the fourth player in Sox history to hit the mark before his 27th birthday.

And just like on that day, when Sandra Brown [Bogaerts’ mom] sent him a pre-game text of encouragement, Bogaerts got another one on Thursday.

“My mom has been rooting for me to get a double for a while, and I guess she knew more than me how important it was and how hard it was to get something like that,” said Bogaerts.

It was particularly gratifying for Red Sox manager Alex Cora to see Bogaerts hit the 50-30 mark. At his opening press conference the day he was named manager of the Red Sox in November of 2017, Cora challenged Bogaerts to become a more productive hitter. Bogaerts has responded with his two best seasons.

“That’s pretty cool for a line-drive hitter [who went the] other way, he wanted to shoot the hole the whole time before,” said Cora. “And for him to buy into the concept of driving the ball has been great. Also, he’s hitting over .300.”

Though Buchholz, who took the loss, didn’t enjoy giving up that particular double, he is proud to see what his friend has accomplished.

“He knows what he wants to do. He does everything the right way. He's a good teammate. He's prepared for every at-bat and rightfully so,” said Buchholz. “I think everybody in Major League Baseball is mad whenever they don't have success in whatever they're doing, batting, pitching or fielding.

“That's a way of life over there, and that's how I was brought up as well. You're expected to be the best and, if you're not, then you've got to go to work the next day and figure out why not. That's Xander. He's a pro."

Bogaerts is getting a lot to show for his hard work this season.

Last month in Denver, Bogaerts got his 30th homer and 100th RBI on the same swing, making him Boston’s first 30-100 shortstop since Nomar Garciaparra in 1998. And in Cleveland on Aug. 14, he hammered the 100th homer of his career.

The performance of Bogaerts, who also had an RBI single, helped fuel the Red Sox to the end of a five-game losing streak.

“I still believe, I think he’s going to be better,” said Cora. “He’s going to understand when to attack a little bit more often just like Mookie [Betts] right now, he’s in a groove swinging at the first pitch, putting good swings. He will do that with time. He’s only 26. We’re very proud of him.

“It’s not only the numbers. It’s him showing up consistently every day and the routine and being a leader and understanding what he means to the organization. In a quote-unquote bad season [for the Red Sox], he’s been showing up every day and he’s learning a lot this year.”

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.