Red Sox

David Ortiz shared what he told Rafael Devers prior to Game 2

"I told Devers my best advice is to try and do less."

David Ortiz gave Rafael Devers some pointers ahead of Game 2. Jim Davis Globe Staff

Rafael Devers’s Game 1 performance was underwhelming for the All-Star slugger.

Devers went 1-for-4 and struck out twice. In his second strikeout, Devers was up with the bases loaded in the eighth, which was the Red Sox’ best opportunity to score in Game 1. But Devers couldn’t make contact on the three 92 mph fastballs he swung at, leaving the Red Sox empty-handed.

Devers’s first at-bat on Friday made it look like we would see more of the same in Game 2. The lefty struck out swinging, whiffing on a 98 mph fastball out of the zone.

However, the tide changed for Devers in his next at-bat. He finally made contact with Shane Baz’s fastball, drilling a 97 mph pitch to deep center that was caught by Rays centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier.


Devers finally got on base in the fifth, drawing a six-pitch walk after Kiké Hernández’s solo home run. The walk led to Devers scoring on J.D. Martinez’s three-run home run that gave the Red Sox an 8-5 lead. Devers drew another six-pitch walk in the sixth, and while he didn’t score, he was finally showing some good plate discipline.

In his eighth-inning at-bat, Devers wasn’t as patient, but that was a good thing for the Red Sox. After taking a ball on the first pitch, he drilled an 86 mph changeup 425 feet to straightaway center for a two-run home run, extending the Red Sox’ lead to 11-6.

Devers didn’t get a hit in his final at-bat, but hit a hard-hit lineout to right.

It was reported earlier in the day on Friday that Devers was dealing with right forearm discomfort. With the injury in mind, Red Sox legend David Ortiz shared he gave advice to Devers on how to fix his approach at the plate prior to Game 2.

“When you are not 100 percent out there, you have to be less violent,” Ortiz said on the FS1’s postgame show, via WEEI. “I had this conversation with Devers this morning and Alex and I told Devers my best advice is to try and do less. Try and put the ball in play instead of trying to hit the ball 500 feet. I guarantee that will give you a better result.


“We can tell you are hurting somewhere in your arm and the violent swing is not going to help you. You have quick hands, you know how to use it, just try and put the ball in play. If you look at the home run that he hit, it wasn’t one of those aggressive swings. He just put the ball in play. He’s got the power all ready.”

Devers’s approach certainly looked different in Game 2 than in Game 1, and he was rewarded for it on Friday.

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