The Boston Red Sox lost their fourth straight game in a 6-2 defeat to the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on Friday night as the offense once again failed to produce with runners in scoring position.
The Sox are just 3-for-27 with runners in scoring position during the current road trip (four games).
“We’ve had a rough go with people on base, with runners in scoring position,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said after the game.
“We have to continue to grind and maintain the concentration that finishes through an inning. We do a decent job of putting people in opportunities (to drive in runs).”
The Red Sox began the first inning of Friday’s game with two hits and opened the scoring on Xander Bogaerts’ RBI double. Boston was unable to build on that success, though, as it scored just one more run over the next eight innings against Tigers starting pitcher Drew Smyly.
Hitting with runners in scoring position isn’t the only concern offensively for Boston over the course of its losing streak.
Red Sox outfielders are 6-for-39 with 28 strikeouts during that span, and they went 2-for-8 with five strikeouts in Friday’s loss. The Red Sox also are getting off to slow starts, which is putting a lot of pressure on their starting pitchers to be near-perfect in the first couple of innings. Boston has been outscored 12-1 in the first five innings over the last four games.
Another problem for the Red Sox is that while the top of the order has been getting on base and driving in runs, the same cannot be said for the Nos. 6, 7, 8 and 9 hitters. The bottom four spots in the lineup have combined to hit 9-for-58 (.155) with 24 strikeouts during this losing streak.
Despite all of the frustration, there have been a few bright spots for the Red Sox offense on the road trip.
Bogaerts has tallied 16 hits and six RBI in his last 10 games. He leads the team with a .296 batting average and has collected eight extra-base hits in the last 10 games. Brock Holt’s production in the leadoff spot continued Friday night as he extended his hitting streak to six games with a first-inning single. He’s tallied 14 hits in his last 10 games.
While the offensive success of Bogaerts and Holt is an encouraging sign, the Red Sox need a total team effort offensively to score runs and end the losing streak. Boston already is 10 games out of first place in the AL East Division.