Mookie Betts clubbed his 16th home run of the season on Sunday afternoon, putting the Red Sox on the board with a solo shot in the first inning. What made the home run unique wasn’t the distance it achieved (406 feet, Betts’ sixth-longest homer of the year) or the speed with which it cleared the left field wall (106.3 m.p.h., Betts’ seventh hardest-hit homer of the year) but the way in which it was recorded. It marked the outfielder’s third leadoff home run of the season and the 11th in his four-year career. No Red Sox hitter has managed more leadoff home runs in franchise history to date.
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The home run gave Betts the edge over the previous team leader, Jacoby Ellsbury, who amassed 10 leadoff home runs in Boston from 2007 through 2013. It also bumped him to No. 16 on the list of American League home run leaders, though he has quite a bit of catching up to do in order to tie Aaron Judge‘s 30 blasts this season.
The only thing the homer didn’t do, in fact, was give David Price a comfortable lead. Evan Longoria tied the game on an RBI single in the bottom of the first inning, and Brad Miller‘s two-run shot in the eighth gave the Rays a two-run lead. The Red Sox currently trail the Rays 5-3 in the top of the ninth.