He's 1st to achieve feat in consecutive games; Red Sox RF also ties record with 5 HRs in 2 games
By Ben Raby
BALTIMORE -- Mookie Betts made some more history on Wednesday night. With two more homers in a 13-9 loss to the Orioles, the Red Sox outfielder became the first player in Major League history to hit a homer in each of the first two innings in consecutive games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. And that was just one of the notable numbers about his night.
For the second straight game, Betts hit a leadoff blast, launching a 1-0 pitch from Orioles right-hander Mike Wright to right-center field for his 13th of the season. Then in the second, he took Wright deep to left a few pitches after Wright threw one over his head. Both benches were warned after that pitch.
"I didn't think he did anything wrong or that anything was going on," Betts said. "Maybe he wanted to send a message, I don't know."
Lately Betts been sending a message to the rest of MLB, that he is capable of setting the tone atop the lineup for baseball's most productive offense. Betts tied the MLB record for homers in two games with five and is also the first leadoff hitter to achieve the feat.
"I didn't know that," he conceded, barely able to contain his smile. "That is pretty special."
The 23-year-old leads the Majors with 14 homers and 42 RBIs as a leadoff hitter. After his two homers Wednesday, Betts had five in his past seven at-bats, becoming the first player since Josh Hamilton (May 7-8, 2012) to homer five times in seven at-bats. Betts drew a walk in the third, grounded out in the sixth and walked again in the eighth.
"I felt pretty good. I'm swinging at good pitches. I'm managing my at-bats well, so I'll try to ride the wave."
"You rarely see it and sometimes you never see it in a career," said manager John Farrell. "But we're blessed to watch Mookie every night from our dugout."
Betts is the first Red Sox player to lead off consecutive games with a homer since Mike Aviles on May 19-20, 2012, at Philadelphia.
Betts hit a career-high three homers Tuesday, becoming the first Red Sox leadoff hitter to go deep three times in a game. His first-inning blast Wednesday was his fifth career leadoff homer and his third since May 11.
Soon after his three-homer game Tuesday, Betts suggested that the feat would mean little if it didn't lead to a consistent stretch at the plate. It's safe to say one night later, he's locked in.
"He's swinging the bat great, he's been a force all year for us and it's been fun to watch him," said Dustin Pedroia. "Hopefully he continues to do what he's doing because it's pretty exciting."
Ben Raby is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.