Travis Shaw went 4-for-4 with his first two major league homers in the Red Sox' win Saturday. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Like father, like son: Travis Shaw hits first major league home run(s), scores 5 runs in Red Sox win

Ryan Hannable
August 01, 2015 - 2:51 pm
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Listening to Travis Shaw after Saturday's game you'd never know he went 4-for-4, hitting the first two home runs of his major league career and falling a triple short of the cycle while scoring five runs in the Red Sox' 11-7 win over the Rays. The 25-year-old barely cracked a smile during the roughly five minutes he spoke to the media after the game, but maybe there's a reason for that. Shaw's dad, Jeff, was a reliever who played 12 seasons in the majors and was a two-time All-Star. Growing up, Travis was always at the park shagging fly balls during batting practice and even serving as bat boy during road games. He probably had seen many performances better than his own. "Son of a major leaguer, maybe that's why he keeps it in stride. He's been around it his entire life," said manager John Farrell, who played with Jeff on the Indians, Jeff's first three years in the majors. "Jeff never shut up, Travis is quiet. They both have the last name Shaw, but very different," he added. Shaw stepped to the plate a triple shy of the cycle in the eighth inning, but instead of the cycle he crushed a homer to dead center field for his second of the day. He became the first Red Sox player since at least 1914 to record four hits, five runs and 11 total bases in a game. He admitted he was thinking about the cycle stepping to the plate. "It's in your head," he said. "Everyone is talking about it. If you hit the ball in the gap, everyone is like, 'Don't stop running.' I'll take the homer." His first home run came in the third inning when he took Rays starter Matt Moore deep into the Rays bullpen for his first career home run. The left-handed hitter who stands 6-foot-4 said he felt some sense of relief as he had played in eight games before recording his first major league hit in his ninth game (back in early July before being sent down) and then in his 10th he was able to hit his first home run. "It's about the same," he said of more weight being off his shoulders after his first homer. "Everyone is looking at me to hit home runs, especially with the type of body that I have. Being able to go out there and do that it takes some weight off your shoulders." In 77 games with Pawtucket this season he has hit .249 with five home runs and 30 RBIs, but has swung a better bat of late as he had three multi-hit games in his last eight games before the promotion. He used that success to help him with his confidence. "I feel pretty good at the plate," Shaw said. "Just trying to not do too much, just stick with what I've done down there. I've been successful down there and trying to carry that up here." Shaw was called up early Saturday as the team needed more infield depth, but with the organization now thinking more toward 2016, he could be here to stay. He was drafted in 2011 by the Red Sox as a first baseman, but immediately added third base to his repertoire. It's possible if the Red Sox were to deal Mike Napoli during August, they could give Shaw more playing time at first base to see what he has, as the team weighs its options for the position next season. No matter how many more games he does get to play in, Shaw just wants to make the most of them. "It's sort of out of my control," he said. "I try and control what I can control. Each day that I am in the lineup up here try and make the most of and hopefully that speaks for its self."

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