Red Sox Notes: Jackie Bradley Jr. Starting To Make Offensive Strides

Jackie Bradley JrBOSTON — The ominous clouds that rolled in over Fenway Park on Monday night, delaying the start of the Red Sox’s series opener against the Chicago White Sox, were a nice touch.

The Red Sox have fallen on dark times, with a 4-0 loss dropping Boston to 1-6 on its current 10-game homestand. The Red Sox now are 11 games below .500 (39-50), creating plenty of frustration for a team that was a model of consistency last season en route to a World Series title.

The story was the same Monday as it’s been for much of this season. The offense simply couldn’t get it done.

Let’s go over some other developments.

– The Red Sox were shut out for the ninth time this season. It was Boston’s fourth shutout loss at Fenway Park, surpassing the club’s total at home for all of 2013 (three).

The Red Sox’s two hits matched their season-low for the third time. Making matters worse was that the ugly performance happened against a 29-year-old rookie, Scott Carroll, who owned a 2-5 record and a 5.05 ERA over 13 career major league appearances (seven starts) before Monday’s gem.

The Red Sox sure know how to make below-average pitchers look like future Hall of Famers these days.

– Clay Buchholz pitched pretty well aside from a few mistakes, most notably two home runs he surrendered to Adam Dunn and Dayan Viciedo. Dunn’s was a solo blast in the second inning and Viciedo’s was a three-run shot in the fourth inning.

Since returning from the disabled list on June 25, eight of the nine runs that Buchholz has allowed over his three starts have been produced by home runs.

– Red Sox starters have received one run or no runs of support in four of their last seven games, though Buchholz wasn’t looking to talk about such after the game.

“I’m done talking about the offense,” Buchholz said. “It’s not like they’re going out there trying not to do anything. It’s just not working right now. I’m not going to answer any more questions about our offense.”

– Felix Doubront pitched two scoreless innings after Buchholz went the first seven frames.

– Jackie Bradley Jr. continues to show improvement offensively. He collected one of the Red Sox’s two hits — A.J. Pierzynski had the other — and worked a nine-pitch walk.

Bradley has hit safely in a career-high five straight games, batting .438 (7-for-16) with two doubles and three walks in that span. He’s hitting .304 (14-for-46) over his last 14 games.

– Mike Carp was activated from the disabled list before the game. Jonathan Herrera was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket.

– Red Sox manager John Farrell wasn’t ready to announce who his starter will be for Wednesday’s game. However, all signs point toward it being Rubby De La Rosa, who was removed from his start with Pawtucket after one inning Sunday, so that he could be an option.

– Mookie Betts continues to play solely the outfield during early work. Brock Holt will be the Red Sox’s primary utility infielder with Herrera gone.

– Shane Victorino is expected to restart his minor league rehab assignment Wednesday. He’ll likely do so at Single-A Lowell.

– Will Middlebrooks went 1-for-3 with an RBI single for Pawtucket on Monday. He also played the first five innings at third base.

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