After getting off to a terribly slow start, the Boston Red Sox’s offense needed a spark.
Red Sox manager John Farrell attempted to garner this spark by shuffling the lineup for Saturday’s game against the Minnesota Twins. Farrell’s adjustments paid off, as the Sox routed the Twins 11-1 at Target Field.
For the first time in his young career, Andrew Benintendi batted cleanup for the Red Sox. The 22-year-old excelled in his first appearance in the four-hole, going 3-for-6 with a two-RBI double.
Benintendi’s knows he’s not a pure power hitter and his new role in the cleanup spot didn’t alter his approach at the plate.
“For me it’s easy,” Benintendi said after the game, as seen on NESN’s Red Sox postgame coverage. “I know I’m not going to be a prototypical four-hitter, so it’s easy for me to be the same.”
Farrell also opted to bat Xander Bogaerts third, as the Red Sox shortstop arguably is the team’s hottest hitter. Bogaerts extended his hitting streak to 10 games Saturday, going 3-for-6.
And with center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. struggling, Chris Young was inserted into the lineup. The veteran outfielder made his presence known against the Twins, clubbing two solo home runs, his first two long balls of the season.
After Saturday’s outpouring of offense, you’d have to imagine Farrell will stick with this lineup for the immediate future.
Here are some other notes from Red Sox-Twins.
— Sandy Leon broke out of his slump in a big way. The Red Sox catcher went 3-for-5 with a home run and two singles.
— Farrell provided a timetable for the return of David Price prior to Saturday’s game. The Red Sox are hoping Tuesday will be Price’s final simulated session, followed by a possible minor league start as soon as next weekend.
— Rick Porcello dazzled in his second win of the season. The reigning American League Cy Young winner tossed seven innings, giving up only one run on seven hits with six strikeouts. After receiving a combined three runs of support in his previous three starts, Porcello received more than enough support Saturday.
— Brock Holt continued his rehab Saturday in Double-A Portland. The utility man went 1-for-3 in the contest and is expected to play the outfield in Triple-A Pawtucket on Monday.
— Mookie Betts returned to the leadoff spot Saturday, but the outfielder was the only Red Sox hitter who didn’t record a hit. Betts went 0-for-5 with a walk in the game.
Thumbnail photo via Jesse Johnson/USA TODAY Sports Images