While the Boston Red Sox continue to explore new depths, Mookie Betts provided a ray of sunshine in Wednesday’s 16-9 drubbing from the Chicago Cubs.
He hit his first major league home run, a no-doubt shot over the Green Monster in the fifth inning, a two-run homer that meant something at the time since it narrowed Chicago’s lead to 8-5.
Chris Large of Cookeville, Tennessee, caught the ball. Three summers ago, Large was pitching in a Nashville-area summer league and faced Betts.
“I really couldn’t believe it when I got it, but I wanted to make sure he got the ball back,” said Large, who with his sister had a chance to give Betts the ball after the game. In return, Betts signed a pair of new baseballs for him.
“He said as soon as he got it he wanted to find a way to get it to me,” said Betts. “I really appreciated that.”
Betts found the coincidence to be “really weird,” but was happy to have the ball to give to his mother.
“She’s not here now so I may get to look at it for a little bit longer, but when she gets here that’s gone too,” said Betts.
YANKEES: CC Sabathia’s return to the rotation is being delayed because he had swelling in his injured right knee after making his second rehabilitation start.
Sabathia made a start for Double-A Trenton on Wednesday and gave up five runs in 32/3 innings against the Portland Sea Dogs.
Sabathia had an MRI on Thursday. The left-hander has been out with a degenerative cartilage problem nearly two months.
• The Yankees sent third baseman Yangervis Solarte to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and called up Zelous Wheeler, who will make his major league debut.
ROCKIES: Colorado activated third baseman Nolan Arenado from the 15-day disabled list and optioned left-hander Christian Friedrich to Triple-A Colorado Springs.
Arenado broke the middle finger on his left hand sliding into second base in Atlanta on May 23. He is batting .305 and won a Gold Glove last year as a rookie.
The Rockies were 10-27 without him in the lineup.