Yankees’ Ben Rice homers three times, makes franchise history in blowout win vs. Red Sox

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New York Yankees first baseman Ben Rice had the biggest game of his nascent big-league career on Saturday, homering three times and driving in seven runs as part of a 14-4 win against the Boston Red Sox (box score) and entering his name into the record books in the process. In total, Rice went 3-for-5 on the afternoon.

Rice, stationed atop the Yankees lineup for the third consecutive game, became the second rookie in franchise history to ever launch a leadoff home run against the Red Sox. Previously, that feat had been accomplished only by the well-named Chicken Hawks, according to YES Network studio researcher Maxwell Kravatz. (Lest anyone think the baseball gods lack a sense of humor, we’ll note that Chicken and Rice are now forever linked together.)

What’s more is that, per MLB’s Sarah Langs, Rice became the third rookie to homer thrice from the leadoff spot. the others? Andrew McCutchen (2009) and Mike Yastrzemski (2019)

Here’s a look at each of Rice’s three home runs on Saturday:

Rice’s first home run had a 105.1 mph exit velocity and carried 390 feet; his second had marks of 103.7 mph and 406 feet; and his third checked in at 110.8 mph and 406 feet. For those not fond of doing math, that means Rice delivered more than 1,202 feet in home runs on Saturday alone.

Rice, 25, entered Saturday having hit .261/.364/.391 (115 OPS+) with one home run and three doubles over the course of his first 16 games. He had also walked as many times as he had struck out (eight) in 55 plate appearances. Rice was promoted to the majors after veteran first baseman Anthony Rizzo fractured his forearm, requiring a stint on the injured list.

The Yankees originally drafted Rice in the 12th round of the 2021 class by way of Dartmouth College.

The Yankees’ victory improved their record to 55-36 on the year. It also marks their first victory of the new month, having previously dropped their first four games of July. The Yankees and Red Sox will now wrap up their weekend set on Sunday night.

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