One of the most concerning parts of the Boston Red Sox’s lineup this season has been the lack of offensive production from outfielders.
Boston received very little offense from its three outfielders — Jonny Gomes, Grady Sizemore and Jackie Bradley Jr. — in Friday night’s 6-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers.
This outfield trio combined for just two hits, one RBI, and five strikeouts in eight at-bats. Gomes picked up an RBI on a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning, Bradley Jr. failed to reach base and struck out three times, and Sizemore singled in the ninth inning and struck out once. Once again, Bradley Jr. played excellent defense and picked up another outfield assist, but his struggles at the plate are a genuine concern.
In the Red Sox’s current four-game losing streak, the outfielders have combined to hit 6-for-39 (.153 batting average) with 28 strikeouts. This has put a lot of pressure on young players such as Xander Bogaerts and Brock Holt to consistently get on base and drive in runs at the top of the order. To their credit, these two infielders have combined for 30 hits and 13 RBI in the last 10 games.
But for the Red Sox to score enough runs to overcome their pitching woes, they need the bottom of the order — which is where Bradley Jr. and Sizemore are often positioned in the lineup — to be productive and give the top three hitters chances to drive in runs.
The Red Sox outfielders will need to bring their A-game in the second matchup of this weekend series because the Tigers will send reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer to the mound Saturday night.
Here are some other notes from Friday night’s loss to Detroit:
–Xander Bogaerts hit an RBI double in the first inning. He’s tallied 16 hits in his last 10 games and leads the team with a .297 batting average.
–Brock Holt’s single in the first inning extended his hit streak to six games.
–Jackie Bradley Jr. struck out three times. He leads the team with 60 strikeouts (including 11 Ks in his last 10 games).
–Red Sox relief pitcher Burke Badenhop hasn’t given up an earned run in 23 innings pitched this season.
–The Red Sox are now 0-4 against the Tigers this season. Boston was 3-4 against Detroit in 2013 (excluding playoffs).
–Red Sox starting pitchers have two wins in the last eight games.
–Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter picked up three hits, including a home run. It’s his fifth three-hit game of the year. He’s batting .444 with two home runs, four RBI and four runs in four games against the Red Sox this season.