SAN DIEGO (AP) — Rafael Devers homered twice and drove in four runs to help the Boston Red Sox beat San Diego 6-1 Friday night to hand the staggering Padres their 10th loss in 12 games.
Devers and his friend and former teammate, Padres shortstop Xander Bogaerts, took the lineup cards out for the pregame exchange and hugged. Devers then circled the bases in front of Bogaerts in consecutive innings in his 14th career multi-homer game.
Devers hit a solo shot to right so hard leading off the second that he stumbled back a few steps before starting his trot. He hit a three-run homer nearly to the base of the batter’s eye in straightaway center field with no outs in the five-run third for a 6-0 lead. He has 13 homers this season.
Both came off lefty Blake Snell (1-6), who allowed six runs and five hits in four innings.
Before the game, Bogaerts said he hoped Devers didn’t hit any homers because “he’s a dangerous guy. He’s truly one of a kind.”
Devers proved his friend right.
“Very happy today that I was able to hit two runs but you have to keep doing adjustments every day,” Devers said through a translator.
“He put two great swings,” manager Alex Cora said. “Around him, everybody put up good at-bats. That was impressive, the third inning. We were grinding at-bats, fouling off pitches, staying on pitches, taking our walks. It was a fun inning.”
Rob Refsnyder hit a two-run, bases-loaded double ahead of Devers’ three-run shot to help the Red Sox to their third straight win.
Other than Fernando Tatis Jr.’s leadoff homer in the third off James Paxton (1-0), the Padres’ offensive struggles continued on a day when slugger Manny Machado went on the 10-day injured list with a hairline fracture in his left hand. The Padres were booed at game’s end, just as they were Wednesday after a loss to Kansas City. They fell to five games under .500 and are 8 1/2 games behind the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers and just one game ahead of the last-place Colorado Rockies.
The Padres managed just Tatis’ homer, his sixth, and four singles in six innings off Paxton, who was making only his second start of 2023. He made his Red Sox debut a week earlier, his first big league appearance since April 6, 2021, with Seattle. He missed most of the 2020-22 seasons due to injuries and had Tommy John surgery on April 12, 2021.
“It feels great, just really to contribute to the team and be here pitching again,” said Paxton, who earned his first victory since Aug. 15, 2020, against Boston while he was with the New York Yankees.
Paxton said Devers is “awesome. His swing is amazing. So good on offense and he does a great job at third base, too. Just an all-around fantastic player, fun to watch.”
Josh Winckowski pitched the final three innings for his second save.
Bogaerts, who left the Red Sox as a free agent and signed a $280 million, 11-year contract in December, was robbed of a single by diving right fielder Alex Verdugo to end the fifth.
EXPLOSION IN SINGLE-A CLUBHOUSE
Two contract workers were burned in a natural gas explosion in the home clubhouse of the Lake Elsinore Storm, the Padres’ Class-A affiliate, leading to Friday’s game being postponed. The two workers were taken to a hospital. The Padres said no players were involved.
DEVERS AND BOGEY
Devers and Bogaerts went out to eat Thursday, an off day for both teams. “You know what’s crazy is, I forgot my wallet at home. I’m not even kidding,” Bogaerts said. He thought he left it at the ballpark but didn’t find it there, and started to get nervous. “I said, ‘Man, you’ve got to pick this up. I don’t even have a dollar.'” Bogaerts said he found his wallet at home, in his backpack, where he put it during the bus ride home from Dodger Stadium last Sunday. ”I haven’t told him that piece yet but I told him right away that he’s got to pay,” Bogaerts said.
Red Sox: 1B Justin Turner, who was aboard for Devers’ three-run shot, left the game with left knee soreness.
Padres: Machado’s was hurt when he was hit by a pitch Monday night. His IL stint is retroactive to Tuesday. Manager Bob Melvin said there’s a possibility Machado can return when the Padres play at the New York Yankees next weekend.
Saturday night’s game will feature a marquee matchup between Red Sox LHP Chris Sale (3-2, 5.40 ERA) and Padres RHP Joe Musgrove (1-1, 6.63).