Red Sox contender steals SIX bases in one game –

By Rob Terranova | 6:31 p.m. EDT

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Ceddanne Rafaela may have just nicked another bag for the Sea Dogs.

The second-ranked Red Sox contender set a franchise record with six stolen bases for Double-A Portland in a 6-2 loss to Somerset at Hadlock Field on Saturday. With a total of nine shots that day, the club set a new team record. The previous record was six and was set eleven years ago.

Rafaela was originally credited with seven stolen bases, but his final third-base steal in the ninth inning was turned into defensive indifference by the official scorer after the game. Still, at a 60-degree pace, the infielder set a mark held by only four players in AL/NL history and has only been equaled once in the 21st century. Carl Crawford stole six bases from the Rays in a game against the Red Sox on May 5, 2009, and before that, Eric Young Jr. stole for Colorado in 1996, Otis Nixon for Atlanta in 1991, and Eddie Collins twice for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1912.

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“It’s really just a team thing. We all want to be aggressive on the bases and try to get that sack,” Rafaela said. “Actually, it’s just part of my game. I always want to play aggressively and today I had good jumps every time.”

As the game neared its end, the 22-year-old believed he would have yet another breakthrough if manager Chad Epperson gave the green light.

“In the end I’m in third place [in the ninth with two outs]”Of course I wanted to try and sneak home,” he said, adding a laugh. “My manager didn’t allow me to do it.” I would have taken that for me too.

Fueled by his confidence and the athletic ability to back it up, MLB’s No. 75 overall has set a personal goal of stealing 30 bases this season. He’s more than halfway through after springing into action at 10 on Saturday.

“Stealing bases has been part of my game since the day I signed, so I’m working on it every day,” Rafaela said. “I firmly believe that I have to reach 30. That is the goal. Last year I was close, but I didn’t make it. That drives me.”

Rafaela stole 28 bases in 116 games with High-A Greenville and Portland last season. He is now 16 and has played 27 games.

After hitting a ground ball through the left side of the infield in the first run, Rafaela launched to second base and made it with ease before stealing third base after a walk to Niko Kavadas. He was immediately singled out by Chase Meidroth, opening the game’s first goal.

In the third round, the Curaçao native earned a one-out walk and then completed a successful double-steal with Phillip Sikes to one-out two runners into goal position for the Sea Dogs.

Rafaela managed the Sea Dogs’ only other run in the seventh. After hitting base with a two-out single, the five-foot-tall, 152-pounder second stole, then stole third and scurried home after a throwing error by the catcher.

In the final frame, Rafaela bounced back from a 2-1 score and hit a six-pitch walk. Wasting no time, he took second place and made his way to third place after the base was unmanned. He stayed 90 feet from home to finish the game.

“I always have confidence, I always believe in myself. I’m a big faith guy,” he said. “So I’ve always had a high level of confidence, but after a game like this it’s going to give you even more of a push to work a little bit harder and keep improving.”

With six stolen bases, Rafaela is just a step behind the mark set by 18-year-old Ricky Henderson in the minor leagues in 1977. The previous Sea Dogs record for stolen bases in a single game was four by Jeremy Hazelbaker on July 22, 2012.