DENVER (AP) — The heart of Boston’s batting order has certainly been hard to keep in the park.
Leading the way, Xander Bogaerts. On this night, anyway.
The smooth-swinging shortstop went deep twice as the Red Sox extended their home run streak to 18 games in a 7-4 win over the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday.
It’s the third-longest streak in franchise history. Boston’s best run was 22 straight games with a homer in 2016.
“The Red Sox are swinging the bat well,” Rockies manager Bud Black said.
Very much so. Especially the 2-3-4 hitters.
That trio powered the Red Sox as they finished a two-game sweep of Colorado. Rafael Devers, Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez went a combined 8 for 14 with four home runs. Bogaerts had a two-run homer in the fifth inning and a solo shot in the seventh. Martinez got things rolling with a two-run drive in the third, and Devers went deep in the ninth.
Martinez has 32 homers, with Bogaerts at 30 and Devers 28. All three are also hitting over .300. The Red Sox have never had three players finish over .300 and with 30 or more homers.
Best threesome in the league?
“I wouldn’t say the best,” Bogaerts said. “We might be one of the best.”
By driving in three runs, Bogaerts reached 100 RBIs. He’s the first Red Sox shortstop to hit 30 homers and drive in 100 in a season since Nomar Garciaparra in 1998.
“Coming into the season, you don’t have that in your mind,” Bogaerts said. “You don’t put those types of expectations on yourself. I just felt like once I was getting closer to it, you try to go ahead and try to get it.”
Boston picked up ground in the AL wild-card race and trails by five games for the final playoff spot. Just don’t mention it to Red Sox manager Alex Cora until Sept. 1. Then, he’ll start talking about standings.
Eduardo Rodriguez (16-5) lasted five innings and allowed three runs. The left-hander extended his shutout streak to 21 innings before Garrett Hampson put down a run-scoring bunt with two outs in the fourth. Rodriguez gave up a pair of two-out RBI singles in the fifth to make it a 5-3 game. He avoided more damage thanks to a diving play by Devers at third base.
There were some theatrics in the ninth. Charlie Blackmon disagreed with a called third strike by plate umpire Jerry Meals and threw down his bat. A heated Blackmon was tossed for the third time in his career. Moments later, Black was ejected, too.
It’s been that sort of season for Colorado. At 59-75, the Rockies are a season-worst 16 games below .500.
“If you get outhomered like we did tonight, it’s hard (to win at home),” Black said.
Brandon Workman struck out the side for his ninth save.
Colorado tinkered with its lineup by moving Trevor Story into the leadoff spot. Story had two singles and a walk. He also lined out with the bases loaded in the fourth, tossing down his bat in frustration.
Rockies rookie Peter Lambert (2-5) gave up five runs over 4 1/3 innings. He hasn’t won since June 11.
“I made a few mistakes,” Lambert said, “and they punish you.”
Red Sox: LHP David Price (wrist) will start Sunday at the Los Angeles Angels. … LHP Chris Sale (left elbow inflammation) went to Fort Myers, Florida, for treatment and to visit family with the team on the road. … OF Andrew Benintendi was out of the starting lineup due to tightness in his left side.
Rockies: OF David Dahl said he’s running on an underwater treadmill to heal his right ankle. “Getting better every day,” Dahl said.
Golfer Fred Couples showed up at Coors Field wearing a Rockies cap. The 1992 Masters champion posed for a photo with All-Star third baseman Nolan Arenado after batting practice.
Asked about Bogaerts, Cora got straight to the point: “If he’s not the best shortstop in the league, well, he’s in the conversation.”
It was the fifth multihomer game for Bogaerts this season.
Red Sox: An off day Thursday before opening a three-game series at the Angels. RHP Nathan Eovaldi (1-0, 6.64 ERA) starts Friday.
Rockies: RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez (0-5, 6.43) takes the mound Thursday to begin a four-game series with Pittsburgh.
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