Rafael Devers continues to cement his reputation as Yankees’ killer

Red Sox

“He loves the spotlight and he’s very quiet about it.”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 07: Rafael Devers #11 of the Boston Red Sox hits a solo home run in the ninth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on July 7, 2024 in New York City. The Red Sox won 3-0.
Rafael Devers has been a thorn in the Yankees’ side for years. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)

Just a few hours after earning his third All-Star nod, Rafael Devers validated his standing as one of baseball’s top sluggers on Sunday night against the Yankees.

The 27-year-old third baseman left his fingerprints all over Boston’s 3-0 win over the Yankees, crushing a pair of solo home runs in the seventh and ninth innings to lift Boston to yet another series win.

Devers has been a key cog in Boston’s lineup since arriving in 2017. But his knack for tormenting the Yankees further bolsters his value to the Red Sox.

The star third baseman has now homered 16 times at Yankee Stadium, with Devers now standing as the only player in Red Sox history to record three  multi-homer games against the Yankees at the age of 27 or younger (7/23/21, 7/7/22, 7/7/24) — according to J.P. Long of the Red Sox.

The only other players aged 27 or younger to record three multi-homer games against the Yankees in the last 50 years are Ken Griffey Jr., Evan Longoria, and Manny Machado.

Sunday’s matchup in the Bronx was primarily a pitcher’s duel between Kutter Crawford (7 IP,  4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB) and Luis Gil, with the game stuck in a 0-0 deadlock entering the seventh inning.

Devers gave Boston a lead it would not relinquish with one out in the seventh, taking a fastball from Gil and driving it opposite field into the left-field bleachers.

As noted by Long, Devers now has 11 go-ahead home runs against the Yankees on the road, the most in franchise history and ahead of legends like Jim Rice (10), David Ortiz (nine), Ted Williams (eight), and Carl Yastrzemski (seven).

Devers also made highlight-reel plays in the field, making a barehanded play off a slow dribbler from DJ LeMahieu that he fired to first for an inning-ending out in the eighth inning.

Devers gave Boston some additional insurance in the ninth inning, pulling an outside pitch from Yankees reliever Michael Tonkin and muscling out to center field for his second big fly of the game.

Per MLB’s Sarah Langs, Devers’ 423-foot homer in the ninth marked the fourth-furthest outside pitch that a left-handed batter has homered off of since Statcast data was utilized in 2015.

“He loves the spotlight and he’s very quiet about it,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said of Devers, per MLB’s Ian Browne. “But you could feel it [from Devers] in the dugout from the get-go. It seems like [Yankee] Stadium was quiet today compared to the last two days and he kept going, ‘Let’s go guys, we’ve got to keep going. We’ve got to push.’ And then at the end, he just put us on his shoulders and carried us to the

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