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Yankees rookie Ben Rice blasts 3 home runs in 14-4 win over Red Sox

Yankees rookie Ben Rice blasts 3 home runs in 14-4 win over Red Sox

A New York Yankees player hitting three home runs in a game against the Boston Red Sox is a sure way to get attention. Considering Ben Rice is a rookie, he may have established a footprint in the lore of this great baseball rivalry.

Rice definitely inked a note for himself in Yankees history, becoming the first rookie in the celebrated history of the franchise to hit three homers in a game.

In addition to going deep three times, Rice collected seven RBI while batting 3-for-5 in the Yankees' 14-4 blowout win over the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on Saturday.

His first-inning homer off Boston's Josh Winckowski gave New York a 1–0 lead. But there was far more damage to come. Rice added a three-run shot in the fifth off Chase Anderson to boost the Yankees' lead to 10-4. He tagged Anderson again in the seventh for another three-run blast.

Rice came into the game with one home run, a .261 batting average and .755 OPS, so this performance probably couldn't have been predicted.

In 60 games with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, he hit 15 homers with a .275 average and .925 OPS. Rice was called up in mid-June when Anthony Rizzo went on the injured list with a fractured arm that was expected to sideline him for at least eight weeks.

Rice's fireworks show came at an ideal time for the Yankees, who had lost four in a row and 14 of their past 20 games coming into Saturday's matchup.

Starting pitcher Gerrit Cole also surely appreciated the run support during a rough outing. In 4 1/3 innings, he allowed four runs and seven hits with eight strikeouts. Cole was particularly miffed after Rafael Devers tagged him for a solo homer in the fifth that gave Boston a 4–3 lead.

More agitating than the homer to Cole was Devers watching his fly ball go into the seats and throwing down his bat.

Or maybe Cole was upset over the Red Sox third baseman's continued success against him.

After getting two hits in his two at-bats facing Cole Saturday, Devers' career numbers in the matchup improved to a .342 average with eight home runs. No other batter has hit more than four homers off Cole, according to MLB.com's Ian Browne.

Devers also reached a milestone with his first hit of the day. The third-inning single gave him 1,000 hits for his career. He became the 33rd player to get that many hits for Boston, but by doing so at age 27, he's the sixth player in team history to reach 1,000 hits before turning 28. The others are Carl Yastrzemski, Tris Speaker, Bobby Doerr and Xander Bogaerts, putting Devers in some esteemed company.

The Yankees are currently 2 1/2 games behind the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East, while Boston is eight games back in third place.

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