Bogaerts might've given himself a boost to the top on Wednesday night against the Rangers. He went 1-for-4, but on a night when the Red Sox were stymied by Andrew Cashner in an 8-2 loss, his hit meant quite a bit. With Cashner holding Boston hitless through 5 2/3 innings, Bogaerts launched his sixth homer of the year to break up the potential no-hitter, scoring a pair of runs for one of just three hits Boston had all night.
"It was good to see," said manager John Farrell. "He missed a couple of games because of some tightness in his groin, but with each at-bat tonight, you saw the timing get a little bit more consistent with him. He gets a fastball on the inner part of the plate that he turns on."
Bogaerts made a few stellar plays in the field, as well. He gunned down Nomar Mazara on a chopper behind the mound in the sixth, and Bogaerts snagged Adrian Beltre's hard-hit liner out of the air deep in the hole a batter later.
"Defensively, he's a very good defender, so that's not a surprise," Farrell said. "But I think more than anything what the game's missed with him, to see the timing get a little bit more consistent, that's important for us as we finish out these final four games."
Prior to the game, Bogaerts was on MLB Network to bolster his candidacy.
"I mean, we're just trying to get as much votes as possible," Bogaerts said in an interview with MLB Network. "I'm in second place, pretty close to first. We don't know how far I am, stuff like that, but second place is pretty close. I just need a little more push, and hopefully I can make it there."
"It's going good, it's going good to be honest," Bogaerts said of the campaign to MLB Network. "I have a lot of support from families back at home, fans, Red Sox Nation, teammates, coaching staff, media staff, it's been fun so far."
Fans can cast ballots for the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote on MLB.com, club sites and their mobile devices until 4 p.m. ET today. The winners, as chosen exclusively by online fan voting totals, will then be announced during "MLB Tonight" live on MLB Network and MLB.com at 6 p.m. Extensive coverage throughout the Final Vote will be provided by MLB Network and MLB.com, including interviews with the candidates, frequent updates, heat maps indicating where votes are being cast for each candidate, news on player and club campaigns, and a running countdown clock leading up to the announcement.
On Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, tune in to the 2017 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX, and during the game visit MLB.com to submit your choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2017 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote. The 88th All-Star Game, in Miami, will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB.com, MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Sam Butler is a reporter for MLB.com based in Arlington.