Steve Pearce

Paul Rutherford/USA Today Sports

Steve Pearce delivers game of his life in showdown vs. Yankees with 3 homers

John Tomase
August 03, 2018 - 12:25 am

Steve Pearce stepped into the batter's box in the eighth inning, and he knew.

He knew he had a chance not only at Red Sox history, but baseball history. He knew he could join the select group of 16 hitters -- including teammate J.D. Martinez, who did it last year with Arizona -- to hit four home runs in a game.

He took a walk.

It was a fitting end to the greatest night of Pearce's career, because it illustrated the dedication to his plan of attack that yielded a monstrous three-homer game in a 15-7 victory over the Yankees.

"It was cool," Pierce said. "I'm going to keep saying it's a night I'll never forget. To see the fans do that, it's a great feeling."

The fans showered Pearce with affection all night. He hit a solo homer off CC Sabathia to get the Red Sox on the board in the third with the Yankees leading 4-0. He launched a three-run homer over everything to spearhead an eight-run fourth in what probably goes down as the team's best offensive inning of the season. And then he put the finishing touches on his magical night with a two-run blast in the sixth.

In the process, he joined Mo Vaughn and Kevin Millar as the only Red Sox players with three-homer games vs. the Yankees.

"That's great company," Pearce said. "I'm glad I could join them. With the win tonight, it was a good tone-setter and we'll try to bring the momentum into tomorrow."

Acquired in late June to provide thump against left-handed pitching, Pearce delivered vs. one lefty (Sabathia) and two righties (Jonathan Holder, Luis Cessa). He's now hitting .318 with eight homers and 28 RBIs in 44 games.

"I'm proud of him," said manager Alex Cora. "It's not easy, his role. It's not easy. But he understands where he's at, why we brought him here and he gives me options throughout the game when he doesn't start, when he starts. He actually made some good plays at first base. We can put him at second, we can put him in the outfield. He's a good player. He prepares. He's been around the league for a while and you don't survive in this game if you're not a good player"

He has quickly made himself at home.

"This team, what we do on the field, what I like best is what we do off the field," Pearce said. "We have so much fun. It's fun showing up to the park every day and you see it. You see it in play out there. It's just great showing up to the park every day with this group of guys and they bring it every day."

As for Pearce's shot at history, he has no regrets over his final walk.

"I'm not ignorant. You know what I'm saying?" he said. "We know what's going on. I just try to keep the same approach and stay with what I can do and try to not to expand the zone. I was happy I was able to do that."

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