Red Sox Notes: Boston’s Offense Struggles Again In Loss To Blue Jays

The Boston Red Sox’s offense is in the midst of a power outage.

The Sox tallied eight hits Saturday against the Toronto Blue Jays, but only scored one run in a 7-1 loss at Rogers Centre.

They were averaging more than five runs per game when the team started 7-3 over the first 10 games. However, the lineup’s struggles toward the end of April have continued into May.

Boston is batting just .200 with an average of two runs scored and a 5-for-59 mark with runners in scoring position over the first eight games of the month. The Sox have lost seven of those games as a result, including a total of just one run scored in the first two games — both losses — of this weekend series against the Blue Jays.

While the team’s inability to drive in runners in scoring position is a concern, just getting on base also has been a problem for Boston this month. The Red Sox’s 44 hits in May are the fewest of any American League team and their .278 on-base percentage ranks 14th out of the 15 AL clubs.

The Red Sox must improve offensively as soon as possible because they need to score a lot more runs to overcome the pitching problems that have plagued them all season.

— Red Sox pitchers have given up the most home runs in the American League this season, including a 3-run shot by Blue Jays first baseman Edwin Encarnacion on Saturday that extended Toronto’s lead to 5-0.

Boston — 35
Toronto — 34
Los Angeles — 31
Baltimore — 31
Seattle — 31

— Red Sox starter Joe Kelly gave up six earned runs in 5 2/3 innings. It was the 10th time this season that a Sox starter has given up five or more earned runs in a single game.

— Red Sox catcher Blake Swihart has struggled at the plate since making his major league debut on May 2. He’s batting .091 (2-for-22) with zero home runs, one RBI and a .130 on-base percentage. Swihart was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts Saturday.

— The Red Sox had a players meeting in the clubhouse after the game.

“Yea, we had a little talk,” David Ortiz told reporters, via NESN’s Red Sox Final. “Hopefully things change.”

— The Sox stranded nine runners. Xander Bogaerts grounded out in the top of the fourth inning with runners on second and third, which was one of Boston’s best chances to trim Toronto’s lead.

— One player immune to the current struggles of the Red Sox’s offense is Mookie Betts. The 22-year-old center fielder has a career-high seven-game hit streak. He went 2-for-5 with a run scored Saturday.

— The Red Sox have given up 24 first-inning runs this season and are 5-14 when the opponent scores first, like the Jays did Saturday.

— The Red Sox announced the hiring of Carl Willis as the team’s new pitching coach Saturday evening. Sox manager John Farrell talked about the hiring before Saturday’s game in Toronto.

“He’s one that hasn’t forgotten how difficult the position is, being a pitcher,” Farrell said, via Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald.

“He’s got an ability to connect with many different types of personality. He has the ability to evaluate and make strong recommendations to pitchers and has an ability to coordinate all the available information that we use today, as well as understanding the mindset and the mental side of the game, particularly when it come to the guy on the mound.”

Thumbnail photo via Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports

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