Red Sox

Rafael Devers earned high praise from Alex Cora after Red Sox win vs. Yankees

According to Cora, Aaron Boone said that Devers "plays like Brooks Robinson against the Yankees."

Rafael Devers
Rafael Devers in the fifth inning of the Red Sox-Yankees game on Sunday. Carlin Stiehl/The Boston Globe

For Rafael Devers, Sunday’s 3-0 over the Yankees was a perfect break from what’s been a slow second half of the season.

The Red Sox third baseman — hitting just .177 since the All-Star break — broke out with a two-run home run (going 2-for-4 on the day) in the win.

After the game, Red Sox manager Alex Cora praised Devers for his work ethic. According to Cora, the 25-year-old infielder showed up hours before the game on Sunday to work on his batting stance and catching up to Yankee fastballs.

The extra effort paid off.

“The big boy was out there early working on being on time and getting on the fastball,” said Cora. “After he got his first hit, I was like, ‘It’s one of those where he’s going to cover that pitch tonight.’ He did in the second at-bat, then he didn’t miss that 3-2 pitch. It was a great swing.”


Not to be outdone, Devers also contributed with a highlight play on defense. That it came in the fourth inning — amid a rare jam for starting pitcher Michael Wacha during what was otherwise a smooth performance — inspired more praise from both Cora (and, indirectly, Yankees manager Aaron Boone).

“[Aaron Boone] always says that he plays like Brooks Robinson against the Yankees,” Cora said of his third baseman, referencing the Hall of Fame Oriole. “He always says that. When [Boone] hears people say [Devers] struggles defensively, he’s like, ‘Not against us.’ He’s really good. He worked hard in the off-season on his pre-pitch and first step. You see the results. It’s always good to see him play defense like that.”

Looking ahead, Cora said that he thinks this could be a turning point for his young star.

“He has been missing pitches in the zone, popping them up,” Cora said of Devers. “There’s a lot of that. Tonight, he was on time. His takes were a lot better. Hopefully, it’s the beginning of something great for that guy.”


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