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Rafael Devers struggles to sort out the error of his ways

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - AUGUST 12: Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers, who had a promising outlook at the start of the season, has been plagued with on-field struggles in the first 19 games he's played.Maddie Meyer/Getty

The Red Sox continue to scuffle with a 6-16 record after Sunday night’s 4-2 loss to the New York Yankees. They have lost seven games in a row and are last in the division, their longest losing streak of the season.

At the epicenter of the Sox’ woes is Rafael Devers, who at the start of the season ranked as the team’s youngest star. He leads the league with eight errors in the 20 games he’s played, including three throwing errors in the series finale against the Tampa Bay Rays last week.

“I made those errors that time at Fenway, but I know that’s something that’s bound to [happen] because it’s part of baseball,” Devers said before Sunday night’s game. “It’s something that I continue to work on.”


Devers’ glove has never been his strength, but the mistake-prone third baseman has regressed in that aspect of his game.

But the most baffling part has been Devers’s bat, something that’s been non-existent this season. He is hitting just .182 with a .566 OPS after going 0 for 3 Sunday night. He has been prone to chasing pitches outside the zone (45.7 percent before Sunday). Though it’s the highest mark of his career so far, Devers doesn’t see his chase rate as necessarily an issue.

“I’m an aggressive hitter,” he said. “Even last year, I was swinging at things outside the zone a lot, too, only difference was that I was actually getting hits. That doesn’t change the approach that I have now. I’m still doing the exact same things that I was doing last season and the years before.”

In his first at-bat Sunday night, Devers grounded into a double play against Yankees lefthanded starter J.A. Happ, who was looking for his first win of the season.


Rafael Devers showed his frustration here after a recent flyout against the Yankees.Sarah Stier/Getty

Collectively, the Red Sox haven’t played well at Yankee Stadium, going just 1-14 since the start of the 2019 season.

“We’re trying to have a positive mind-set,” Devers said. “We’re trying to right this ship right now.”

Martin Perez draws start Monday

A bright spot in the season so far has been starter Martin Perez. It’s no secret the Red Sox starting rotation has been a weak part of the team, but Perez has a 3.38 ERA.

“How I feel right now is great,” Perez said. “I believe in what I got. I believe in my stuff. I think it’s not a challenge [pitching at Yankee Stadium]. I just want to go out there and enjoy it.”

Martin Perez will get the ball Monday against the Yankees.Maddie Meyer/Getty

Perez has made just one start at Yankee Stadium, in 2018, and it wasn’t a good one. He lasted five innings and surrendered seven earned runs.

Hernandez stretching it out

With chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom watching, Darwinzon Hernandez threw 2⅓ innings in an intrasquad game at Pawtucket. The 23-year-old lefthander has been pitching every five days. The Sox plan to bring him to the majors as a long reliever or starter. Hernandez, who missed the beginning of the season after testing positive for COVID-19, had a 4.45 ERA in 29 appearances last season . . .The Yankees placed second baseman D.J. LeMahieu on the injured list with a sprained left thumb. He was injured taking a swing in the fourth inning of Saturday night’s 11-5 win. Infielder Miguel Andujar was recalled. LeMahieu hit .411 with a .990 OPS through 19 games . . . Lefthanded pitcher Josh Taylor, who has been on the injured list since July 15, could join the Red Sox on Monday or Tuesday . . . Major League Baseball celebrated the 100-year anniversary of the Negro National League Sunday with teams and players wearing a red and white logo patch with a player silhouetted in blue in recognition of Negro League Baseball.


Julian McWilliams can be reached at Follow him @byJulianMack.