Raleigh 1st Catcher to Homer from Both Sides at Fenway as Mariners Pound Red Sox 10-1
Cal Raleigh became the first catcher to homer from both sides of the plate at Fenway Park, and George Kirby pitched the Seattle Mariners past the Boston Red Sox 10-1 on Monday night.
Raleigh hit a pair of long two-run homers and Eugenio Suárez added a two-run shot of his own. Ty France had two doubles to extend his hitting streak to 12 games for Seattle, which has won 10 of 14.
Batting left-handed, Raleigh's first homer soared into the right-field stands. From the right side, he cleared the Green Monster in left.
“You always think about hitting one over the Monster when you're little. It's so big, so daunting,” said Raleigh, who grew up rooting for the Red Sox and was a big fan of former Boston switch-hitting catcher Jason Varitek.
“Honestly, to do it today was super special,” said Raleigh, whose grandmother traveled from Vermont to see him play. “It's super cool. I'm kind of surprised Varitek didn't do it.”
Kirby (5-2) scattered eight hits over 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball. He struck out six and walked one, improving to 5-1 with a 1.91 ERA over his last seven starts.
“Cal's a beast. That was awesome,” said Kirby, breaking into his only smile while talking to reporters.
After getting swept at home by St. Louis last weekend, the Red Sox lost for the sixth time in seven games following an eight-game winning streak.
Boston sent utility infielder Pablo Reyes to the mound for the ninth. His first pitch — a curveball — read 34 mph on the scoreboard. He gave up a run and two hits with two walks.
Mixing a fastball in the mid 90-mph range with a hard slider, Kirby held the Red Sox scoreless until Rafael Devers’ RBI double in the sixth.
Boston starter Tanner Houck breezed through the first four innings, allowing only Julio Rodríguez’s two-out double in the fourth before Raleigh homered left-handed in the fifth.
“He was doing well until that swing,” Boston manager Alex Cora said of Houck. “It was a pitch down in the zone and he put a good swing on it.”
Raleigh's drive off Houck (3-3) after Suárez’s leadoff single had an exit velocity of 109 mph, traveling a projected 438 feet into the right-field seats.
France opened the sixth with a double and went to third when right fielder Alex Verdugo’s throw sailed past second base into shallow left. He scored on Jarred Kelenic’s fielder’s choice before Raleigh sent Brennan Bernardino’s 91 mph sinker over the Green Monster and completely out of Fenway (which opened in 1912) at a projected 434 feet, making it 5-0.
“In a ballpark like this, when you hit a home run from each side of the plate, none of us will ever know how that feels,” said Mariners manager Scott Servais, a former catcher. “It's really unique.”
Houck gave up four runs in five innings.
PRACTICE PAYS OFF
Before the game, Red Sox first baseman Triston Casas was working on taking bounced throws. Well, it paid off when the first batted ball of the game was a grounder to shortstop that Reyes short-hopped to first.
IN THE HOUSE
Celtics center Al Horford was sitting in the stands and got a nice ovation when he was shown on the center-field video screen.
The crowd broke into a brief chant of “Beat the Heat!”
Boston opens the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals at home against Miami on Wednesday.
Red Sox: Right-handed reliever John Schreiber walked off the mound with a trainer and a 2-2 count against Rodríguez after a discussion with Cora. The team announced he had right lat tightness. “Just some tightness on that last pitch,” Schreiber said. “It tightened up pretty good there.” … Cora kept infielder/outfielder Kiké Hernández (tight left hamstring) out of the lineup and gave outfielder Masataka Yoshida the night off.
Mariners: RHP Luis Castillo (2-1, 2.70 ERA) starts the middle game of the series Tuesday. He threw six shutout innings last season in his only career appearance against the Red Sox.
Red Sox: RHP Nick Pivetta (2-3, 6.23) gave up seven runs over four innings in his most recent start.