BOSTON — The Red Sox’s offense woke up Thursday. The unit jumped out of bed and made a whole bunch of noise Friday.
The Red Sox pounded 11 hits en route to a 10-3 win over the Cleveland Indians on Friday at Fenway Park. It marked the first time all season Boston produced a double-digit run total, and the Red Sox received contributions from up and down the lineup for the second straight night.
“When there’s contributions up and down the lineup, then certain guys feel like they don’t have to get something done if they’re at the plate with runners in scoring position,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said after the game. “To know and trust one another up and down the lineup, yeah, that’s what makes us tick best.”
It’s encouraging that the Red Sox’s offense is ticking at all given the way the unit has performed for much of this season. The Sox entered their current seven-game homestand on the heels of a series against the Baltimore Orioles in which they scored just one run in three games and things appeared to be nearing rock bottom.
Boston’s bats backed Jon Lester with five runs of support in Thursday’s series opener against the Indians, though, and the offense followed with its best effort of the season Friday behind John Lackey, who once again was solid while earning his eighth victory of 2014.
“There’s a group confidence,” said Daniel Nava, who has five hits over his last two games. “It’s not that guys weren’t confident when things weren’t going well. We were just waiting for things to get going, and we had a stretch where they did and then (there was) the skid and we got things going today.”
Nava, who is hitting .423 (11-for-26) over his last eight games since being recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on June 2, finally looks comfortable at the plate. The same can be said for a number of players in the Red Sox’s lineup, which seems to be gaining some stability for the first time this season.
“We’re always going to be a group that strives for continuity in our lineup,” Farrell said. “And we’ve been able to ride some of the peaks and valleys here, but there’s a number of guys who are relaxed in the box right now.”
David Ortiz was the only member of the Red Sox’s lineup without a hit Friday, and he walked three times. Nava, Mike Napoli and Jackie Bradley Jr. each collected two hits, while Napoli, Dustin Pedroia and A.J. Pierzynski drove in two runs apiece. Xander Bogaerts went deep.
The Indians erased the Red Sox’s 3-2 lead in the third inning, but Boston answered right back with two runs in the home half of the frame. The Sox pulled away with a four-run seventh inning.
“I think the thing that stands out the most is we answered every time they scored,” Farrell said. “That’s two nights in a row now, and that’s a very encouraging sign.”
It’s also very encouraging that the Red Sox — a team unable to produce timely hits for most of this season — went 7-for-16 with runners in scoring position. They’re now hitting .353 (12-for-34) with runners in scoring position over their last four games.
The Red Sox’s offense sleepwalked its way back to Fenway Park. But the long snooze seems to have yielded a rejuvenated group.