Nobody on the planet is hotter at the plate than Rafael Devers.

But when he legged out a first-inning triple during the Boston Red Sox’s 5-1 win over the Houston Astros on Wednesday, it almost ruined his night.

“I was tired all game,” he told WEEI in a postgame interview. “First at-bat, triple, not good, bro.”

Boston Red Sox’s Rafael Devers celebrates after hitting a triple against the Houston Astros during the first inning Wednesday at Fenway Park in Boston. AP Photo/Charles Krupa

That didn’t stop him from reaching base two more times. He’s now hitting a stunning .458 with a 1.354 OPS during a 12-game hitting streak in which he has 12 extra-base hits.

Overall, Devers leads MLB in hits (52), hard-hit balls (65), doubles (tied, 15), and total bases (tied, 90) while his .340 average is second in the American League.

Since the start of the 2019 season, no player in baseball has more than Devers’ 879 total bases and 217 extra-base hits.


The 25-year-old broke new ground in another way Wednesday, when he did his postgame radio interview partially in English. Throughout his six years in the big leagues, the Dominican Republic native has typically done his interviews in Spanish while using a translator.

But when WEEI’s Will Flemming asked Devers a question in Spanish, the third baseman answered in English.

“It makes me proud,” manager Alex Cora said Thursday. “I do believe this kid is going to be very special. He is special, but I think with time people are going to be talking about him. And for him to take that step, it’s very important.

“You saw it with David (Ortiz). I saw it with Adrian (Beltre). Those are Hall of Famers. I’m not saying Raffy is going to be a Hall of Famer, but I saw how they grew into this. … It’s a step that is needed. Hopefully he can play here the rest of his career and he’s going to be very important in the community. Not only the Latino community but everybody here.”

Devers is under team control through 2023, but the Sox have failed in their efforts to sign him to a contract extension.

Cora said he and some of the other bilingual folks in the clubhouse have been pushing Devers to communicate more in English, but “for him to do that, I’m actually at a loss of words. You caught me off guard. But I’m very pleased that happened.”


Speaking multiple languages is what helped Xander Bogaerts become a leader, and Cora said it could have the same impact with Devers.

“He’s becoming one of those just going about his business,” Cora said. “When we have off days on the field, he goes to (infield instructor Carlos Febles), ‘Hey, we’re going out.’ And when he goes out, the other guys follow. So as far as work ethic, they understand who he is now and what he means to the group. And at the same time, he’s been a little bit more vocal in the dugout and in the clubhouse.”


While Devers, Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez are carrying the Sox’s offense to a resurgence over the past two weeks, Cora is still concerned of the lack of production at every other position.

No other Boston player has an OPS-plus better than 79 (100 is league average).

“At one point, we expect them to do more offensively,” Cora said. “Obviously you can’t rely on three guys the whole season. It doesn’t work that way at this level. They’re working hard and they’re trying to get to who they are, and hopefully they can do that soon.”


The most concerning area has been first base, where Bobby Dalbec and Franchy Cordero have combined to rank 30th in MLB with a .471 OPS.

Dalbec has mostly been on the bench of late, but got his second straight start against a right-handed pitcher on Thursday.

“I do believe he’s been controlling the zone the last four or five days,” Cora said. “That’s why he’s playing today because you can see the adjustments, what we’re preaching, and it seems like the at-bats are getting better. I always think that sometimes we get caught up in hitting the ball to right-center, driving it here. He can pull the ball with power. That’s what he did in August last year and you saw the difference.”


The Sox lost one of their best minor league left-handed pitchers, Darwinzon Hernandez, who suffered a torn meniscus in his knee and underwent surgery on Thursday morning. The team doesn’t have a timetable but is hopeful Hernandez can pitch again this year.

“It sucks for the kid but we know he’s going to bounce back and he’s going to be OK,” Cora said.


Michael Wacha, who is 3-0 with a 1.38 ERA but has been on the 15-day injured list with left intercostal irritation, will return Friday to start against the Mariners. He could be on a pitch count.

“We’ve got to be smart about it, right?” Cora said. “I don’t know if he’s going nine. He’s so efficient. He’s very aggressive in the zone and he induces weak contact. We’ve just got to make sure we don’t overdo it.”

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