Left fielder notches 5 hits, 6 RBIs, makes stellar catch
By Dave Sessions
Special to MLB.com |
ARLINGTON -- Red Sox rookie left fielder Andrew Benintendi turned in perhaps the finest performance of his young career in an 11-4 blowout of the Rangers on Tuesday, going 5-for-5 with two homers, six RBIs, four runs scored and a double.
In his 111th game since his big league debut on Aug. 2, Benintendi deflated the Rangers in the fifth with a three-run homer that chased starter Yu Darvish. Benintendi added a solo shot to pad a sizable lead in the eighth. He also lifted the Red Sox with his defense, coming down with a sensational leaping catch at the wall to rob Mike Napoli of extra bases to end the fourth inning.
"An outstanding night on his part," Boston manager John Farrell said.
Benintendi's first homer, his 11th this season, existed the bat at 105.3 mph and traveled 389 feet to right field, according to Statcast™. It was the fifth-hardest-hit of his 13 career homers dating back to his first on Aug. 21 of last season.
Darvish existed the game after Benintendi's blast, having allowed seven runs in just 4 1/3 innings. Boston's first run off Darvish came on a Benintendi RBI single in the second. The former University of Arkansas star has a hit in each of his five career meetings with the Rangers, going 10-for-16 (.625) with seven runs, 10 RBIs and three walks.
"I'm just trying to go up there with a good approach and hit the ball hard," said Benintendi. "After that first [single] kind of squibbed through, baseball kind of works like that sometimes, and that just kind of gets you going."
After Darvish departed, Benintendi went to work on the Rangers' relievers, with an RBI single in the sixth and a homer off the top of the wall down the left-field line in the eighth.
Thanks in large part to Benintendi's work, lefty David Price was able to settle in and relax a bit on his way to six-plus scoreless innings and a victory.
"He's a stud, man," Price said of Benintendi, who turns 23 on Thursday. "He doesn't even have a full season in the big leagues yet and he's a good player."
Other than a late-May slump, Benintendi has been impressive at the plate throughout the season, especially the last couple of weeks. Benintendi has hit safely in 12 of his past 13 games, batting .352 (32-for-91) with 16 runs, five doubles, three triples, seven homers and 13 walks over that stretch.
"Going through those slumps and just learning from it, [I'm] trying to prevent that again," Benintendi said. "I'm still trying to learn the tendencies of pitchers against me, still trying to learn a lot and incorporate everything I've learned."
Farrell said Benintendi has begun to make the necessary adjustments to mitigate the league's increased familiarity with him.
"The pitching attack plan circulates on him," said Farrell. "He's been forced to make some adjustments and has done that, particularly as he's gone from a guy that's used the whole field to maybe got a little pull-oriented, and then had to readjust to getting back to using the whole field -- and he's doing that. A really talented young guy."
Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Texas and covered the Red Sox on Tuesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.