In a game when the Boston Red Sox suffered their first loss since July 1, Mookie Betts continued to shine at the plate.
The right fielder went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and as many runs scored in Friday’s 13-7 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park. Two of his three hits were triples, becoming the first Red Sox player to triple in each of his first two plate appearances since 2004 when David Ortiz did it, per NBC Sports Chicago’s Christopher Kamka.
After his second-inning three-bagger, Betts’ last four at-bats included a grand slam, RBI single, a leadoff triple and a two-run triple. The 25-year-old continues to hit the ball extremely well and bumped his average up to .357 after Friday.
It’s obvious why he earned his 2018 All-Star Game nod. Before Friday’s game, Betts led Major League Baseball in batting average (.352), slugging percentage (.683) and OPS (1.123). Over his previous 10 games, he batted .429 with seven RBIs, three home runs, four doubles and 12 runs.
So even when the Red Sox lose, Betts still is a consistent bright spot for the first-place team.
Here are some other notes from Friday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays game:
— Rick Porcello did not record an out in the third inning before being lifted after giving up eight earned runs. The righty won’t pitch again until the fourth game after the All-Star break, and Sox manager Alex Cora said he’s not worried about his pitcher.
“He had a bad game, that’s it,” Cora said after the game, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “He missed his spots and they took advantage of it.”
Porcello didn’t make excuses for his outing, saying even though he felt good all week, it didn’t translate to the mound Friday.
“I never got into a groove,” he said after the game. “This one’s completely on me. Our team did a hell of a job putting up three runs after I put us into a deficit and I couldn’t hold it.”
— Justin Smoak went 3-for-5 for Toronto, including two home runs and four RBIs.
“He’s a good hitter … very consistent throughout the year,” Cora said. “He did some damage today.”
— J.D. Martinez hit his 23rd double Friday, tying him for first place on the team with Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts.
— The Red Sox left 10 men on base in Friday’s loss.
— Drew Pomeranz made his second start with Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday night.
The southpaw tossed 3 2/3 innings while giving up three runs on four hits with a walk and three strikeouts.
— With Boston using five bullpen pitchers, Cora said the team “most likely” will call up a pitcher from Triple-A before Saturday’s game.