John Tomase

Record-setting Red Sox embarrass Yankees, hint at their potential

The Red Sox' new identity was on clear display against their division rivals.

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We take a break from Celtics title watch to provide a baseball update – how 'bout those running Red Sox?

They just completed one of the more difficult portions of their schedule in impressive fashion, taking four of six from the Phillies and Yankees, otherwise known as the two best teams in baseball. And they finished it off with an historic performance that illustrates the kind of team they've become.

In Sunday night's 9-3 victory over New York, the Red Sox stole a franchise-record nine bases. The previous mark of eight had stood since 1940, and it has probably been at least that long since a Red Sox team featured a collection of such athletic young talent.

"Expect that from us," manager Alex Cora told reporters. "We're going to push the envelope."

It took a couple of months, but the Red Sox have established their identity as an aggressive team built around youth.

They lead the league with 69 steals and have already had 15 players swipe at least one. Backup catcher Reese McGuire and first baseman Bobby Dalbec have combined to go 6-for-6, with the latter recording Sunday night's record-setting steal.

The real stars on the bases are a trio of youngsters. Rookie shortstop David Hamilton stole four bases Sunday and has now only been caught once in 19 tries. He's just four off the American League lead. Outfielder Jarren Duran stole two and continues to make his case for an All-Star selection with 17 steals and an .816 OPS. And exciting young center fielder Ceddanne Rafaela pilfered his ninth bag before taking third on an errant throw.

"There's certain teams, that's their DNA and that's how they're going to play," Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters, including Ian Browne of

"Obviously, the Red Sox have a number of fast players, and that's how they play the game right now."

So now the Red Sox are in the history books. On Sunday, they were able to take advantage of Yankees catcher Jose Trevino, who has a notoriously slow transfer and allowed the Red Sox to steal multiple bases without a throw. The ingredients may have existed for a record-setting night, but this wasn't a one-off. It's who the Red Sox are, and it has them two games over .500 in a season when many had them pegged for last.

"I had no idea," Duran told "I didn't know about the record until they put it up on the big screen. I was like, 'Oh wow, we set a record.' But records are meant to be broken. So I'm sure ours will be broken eventually. So it doesn't really mean much, but we're going to keep doing our thing."

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