Red Sox’s Offense Officially Turns Corner With Best Performance Of 2014

Xander Bogaerts, Mike Napoli, Stephen Drew, Daniel NavaThe Boston Red Sox’s offense has produced some seismic activity of late. The unit finally erupted Monday.

The Red Sox enjoyed hands-down their best offensive performance of 2014 en route to a 14-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Boston has won eight of its last nine games, and the offense officially has turned a corner following a mostly disappointing first half.

“Guys swung the bat obviously great tonight,” Red Sox starter John Lackey said after Monday’s rout. “It was a fun night. It’s kind of fun to have these every now and then. The season can be a little bit of a grind sometimes, so to have a little fun and (have) guys swing the bat like that, it was a fun bench tonight.”

The Red Sox finished the series opener with season highs in runs (14), hits (18) and home runs (four). Dustin Pedroia, who was given the rest of the night off after five innings, was the only member of the Red Sox’s starting lineup without a hit. Pedroia and Christian Vazquez were the only ones without at least two hits.

Mike Napoli, Daniel Nava and Xander Bogaerts each finished with three hits. David Ortiz drilled two homers and drove in four runs. Napoli and Stephen Drew each added a blast, with Drew’s being a three-run homer in the third inning that gave him four RBIs for the contest.

Simply put, the Red Sox beat up on the Blue Jays.

“I thought we had a very good offensive approach up and down the lineup tonight,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “It’s good to see (Bogaerts) with three hits, Jackie Bradley once again swinging the bat well, Brock Holt continues to do what he’s done for quite a while. Just, I think, a well-played game in all phases.”

The Red Sox are hitting .307 as a team over their last nine games. They’re scoring 6.3 runs per contest in that span and have hit 10 homers. The most encouraging aspect of Boston’s sudden offensive surge, however, is that the success isn’t reliant on one, two or even three individuals. The Red Sox are receiving contributions from everyone, including players — like Bogaerts, Nava, Drew and Bradley — whose offense was heavily scrutinized for much of the first half.

“We’re getting good offensive approach over the last 10 games or so,” Farrell said. “You go back prior to the series down in Houston (before the All-Star break), there’s been good energy throughout. When you’ve got David (Ortiz) doing what he’s capable of here tonight, it really becomes the hub of what our offense is, and it’s just good to see the contributions up and down our lineup.”

The Red Sox scored in each inning from the second through the fifth in Monday’s victory. The final nail in the coffin was a six-run fifth inning, though it was clear from the moment Napoli delivered a two-out, two-strike single to jump-start a two-run second inning that the Red Sox were positioned to have a huge night at the dish.

Lackey allowed just one run on two hits over a very efficient seven innings, helping to lower the Red Sox’s ERA to 2.11 over their last nine games. Boston has surrendered just six runs total over the club’s last five games.

The Red Sox’s pitching has been solid all season. Boston’s exploding offense should have the league on alert.

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