LOS ANGELES -- Five days and five at-bats into his major league career, 20-year-old Xander Bogaerts collected his first major-league hit. It will not be his last.
Bogaerts, who had entered Saturday's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers as part of a double-switch in the bottom of the eighth inning, lined an opposite-field single to right field off Dodgers reliever Brandon League. The ball made its way to the visitors' dugout, where clubhouse manager Tom McLaughlin had it authenticated and planned to give it to Bogaerts as a keepsake.
The native of Aruba, who was all smiles after Boston's 4-2 win over the Dodgers, momentarily misunderstood when he was asked what he planned to do with the ball.
"What do I plan to do? Hit it," he said.
He laughed when he realized the question pertained to his plans for the souvenir, which he planned to bring home and place in a display case. His twin brother, Jair, was here to witness the moment. His parents, he said, will be coming to Boston when the team returns home.
"I may have to keep my brother around," he said. Bogaerts had gone hitless in four at-bats over two games in San Francisco.
"Finally, you know," he said. "I didn't want to wait any longer, so I'm happy and excited I got the first one out of the way. Hopefully there will be many more."
Manager John Farrell left open the possibility that Bogaerts could draw a start Sunday night against left-hander Chris Capuano. Shortstop Stephen Drew doubled and walked Saturday. Third baseman Will Middlebrooks, who is hitless in seven at-bats here, struck out three times and went 0-for-4.
"I'm getting there," Bogaerts said. "When I was called up from Pawtucket, I was going through a rough stretch. Hopefully I'll get on a better one."