BOSTON -- Leave it to Mookie Betts to provide such a worthy encore from the excitement he created with his 13-pitch grand slam on Thursday.The dynamic All-Star got off to a flying start for the Red Sox on Friday night during a 13-7 loss to Blue Jays at Fenway Park,
BOSTON -- Leave it to Mookie Betts to provide such a worthy encore from the excitement he created with his 13-pitch grand slam on Thursday.
The dynamic All-Star got off to a flying start for the Red Sox on Friday night during a 13-7 loss to Blue Jays at Fenway Park, belting a pair of triples in his first two at-bats.
"It was great. For him to set the tone like that early in the game the way he did was big," left fielder J.D. Martinez said. "But you've got to give credit to them, because they came back and answered right away."
Betts led off the bottom of the first by drilling a 404-foot fly ball off the wall in right-center and hauling into third safely. He then challenged Lourdes Gurriel Jr. on a grounder to shortstop by Martinez, scoring on the error.
It didn't take long for Betts to do damage again. He stepped to the plate in the second inning and smashed one to deep left-center, where the Monster intersects with the lower wall of bleachers.
As the ball caromed away from center fielder Kevin Pillar, Betts put it in high gear again and this time slid head-first into third with a two-run triple that gave the Red Sox a 4-3 lead. His home-to-third sprint took just 11.74 seconds, his fastest time this season and the third-fastest for Boston this year.
The second triple was nearly a homer. It appeared to land just to the left of the yellow line that separates a home run from a ball that is in play.
After a crew-chief review, the triple was confirmed.
It was the second two-triple game for Betts in his career. The other one was April 22, 2016, against the Astros. He finished 3-for-4 on Friday, with two RBIs, two runs scored and a walk, and currently leads MLB in batting average (.357), slugging percentage (.697) and OPS (1.142).
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.