Xander Bogaerts hits a solo home run. (Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez are MVP candidates, but Xander Bogaerts stole the show last night with a pair of solo home runs. The Red Sox shortstop has 19 homers and 80 RBI--six in the last three games.
Manager Alex Cora, what's the change?
"He's a special player," Cora said. "I was telling somebody, he looks bigger lately, like, stronger. He's been putting good swings. He drove one to right, one to left, one to center field. He's staying in the zone, he's playing good defense. You start looking at the numbers, they're impressive. Those are the old-school numbers. Start looking at the other ones, and he's becoming that player we envisioned before the season."
Mitch Moreland went yard as well in yesterday's win, and he's been impressed by Bogaerts.
"He's been a really good player pretty much his whole career," Moreland said. "What he's been able to do this year has been great. He's consistently putting good swings on the ball, having good at-bats, playing good defense. He's a good player."
Bogaerts said he's bigger, healthier, and eating better to try to avoid losing weight like he has in past years. He even joked he's feeling fat and could use a diet.
Either way, he's cranking.
"Health is one of the main factors," he said. "Lesson learned. Whatever happened happened. It's good that I learned, I had to learn the hard way and now we're here."
Bogaerts is batting .400 his last seven games.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Adam Kaufman (@AdamMKaufman) reports