In the fifth inning last night at Fenway Park, Xander Bogaerts clubbed a homer down the line to put the Sox up by three. It was the infielder’s 20th roundtripper of ’21, making him the second Boston shortstop with four 20-homer seasons. The first was none other than Red Sox Hall of Famer Nomar Garciaparra, who accomplished the feat in 2000 (in just his fifth year in the league). The solo shot was also Bogaerts’ 600th career RBI.

The milestone came eight years to the day that Bogaerts debuted for Boston in 2013. Since then, he has amassed 138 career home runs and 1214 hits, with a lifetime batting average of .291. The franchise cornerstone is a three-time Silver Slugger award winner, and was an essential component of championship teams in both 2013 and 2018. On July 31, Bogaerts became the third Red Sox player to appear in 1,000 games at shortstop for the team.

Xander has posted an All-Star 2021 campaign, batting .309 with 69 runs driven in. His 4.8 bWAR ranks fifth in all of baseball (among position players), and his .904 OPS is second on the team among players with at least 350 at-bats. After going nine straight games without a home run to open up August, he has now homered in four of the previous nine games.

Boston will need Bogaerts to stay hot as they look to fight their way into the playoffs.

(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

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