By Ryan Hannable
BOSTON — In the three game weekend series against the Kansas City Royals, Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz were a combined 2-for-25. With the way the season has been going for the Red Sox, this might look like a three-game sweep, but in fact it was the opposite as despite not getting much production from their two leaders, they still were able to earn a weekend sweep, capped by a 6-0 win Sunday afternoon.
Sunday it was David Ross shining as he ripped a two-run homer in the fourth inning to give the home team a comfortable 6-0 advantage. Also having productive days were Daniel Nava and Jackie Bradley Jr. who each picked up two hits and Nava had three RBI. Shane Victorino in his second game back after missing a month and a half with a hamstring and back injury, went 2-for-4 with a run scored.
“Daniel Nava with an outstanding day offensively for us,” manager John Farrell said. “Brock Holt, Jackie Bradley, multiple hits, we’re getting more consistent contribution up and down the lineup. (Victorino) coming back to us the last two days has been an added bonus. Kind of reminded us how much we’ve missed his play in right field.”
The Red Sox have now won four straight games and seven of eight overall to now at least give a glimmer of hope that they do in fact have a second half run in them. In their last eight games as a team they are hitting .291 and have outscored their opponents 43-18.
A number of players who weren’t swinging the bat well in May and June have now turned a corner and playing a major part in the recent success of the team.
Nava is hitting .382 in the month of July and since being recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on June 2, has an OBP of .421 and a .337 batting average. Brock Holt has hit safely in six straight games and has multiple hits in four of them. Bradley Jr. has hit safely in 11 of his last 13 games and is hitting .372 during that span.
Along with those three, Jonny Gomes came through with a game-winning, pinch-hit home run Friday night, this coming right after Xander Bogaerts hitting his first home run and extra base hit since June 13. Finally, Saturday night belonged to Mike Napoli as his solo homer well over the Monster seats was the game-winner in the 2-1 Red Sox win.
“It’s everybody. It’s not just one person,” Ross said. “Guys are getting big hits. Jackie (Bradley) is getting big hits. Brock Holt is doing his thing. It seems to be a different guy everyday.”
Not only is it a good sign winning four straight and seven of eight, it’s the way they are winning as even with Pedroia and Ortiz (1 for his last 18) not contributing like usual, they are playing some of their best baseball of the season. With 13 straight games against the AL East on tap and the trade deadline on July 31, it may very well decide how the remainder of the season goes.
With how well the offense is clicking, they may have a run in them — something no one thought possible just over two weeks ago after being swept by Cubs at home.
What are you seeing as the key in the Red Sox lineup? Leave your thoughts in the comment section or on Twitter @RyanHannable.