If the Red Sox have taught us anything this season, it?s that one shouldn?t get too high on an individual performance. Boston has had trouble building and sustaining momentum since Day 1.
That said, the Red Sox have won three of four since their lifeless effort Monday against the Atlanta Braves at Fenway Park. And Boston?s most recent victory involved a very balanced offensive attack.
The Red Sox defeated the Kansas City Royals 7-3 on Friday at Kauffman Stadium. Boston racked up 16 hits — five players collected at least two hits — while taking down the American League?s best team.
Perhaps it?s yet another tease by a team that still sits nine games under .500 (30-39) and in the basement of the AL East. But hey, it?s a positive development amid a disappointing season.
Let?s run down some notes from Friday.
— Did the Fenway wall knock something into place?
Mookie Betts has been absolutely sizzling at the dish since running full-speed into the wall while chasing a fly ball last Friday against the Toronto Blue Jays and missing the next two games. He?s hitting .591 (13-for-22) in five games since returning, extending his hitting streak to seven games.
“It’s more mental than anything physical,? Betts told reporters in Kansas City. “I got a chance to talk to some guys, talk a little more in detail. Since I had days off, I had a chance to watch and analyze how (Dustin) Pedroia and (David Ortiz) and those guys do it, (then) trying to do it my way.”
Betts is hitting .346 (19-for-55) this month, raising his average to .267. But while he?s been thriving since sitting out a couple of games, Betts still doesn?t think running into a wall is the best way to snap out of a funk.
“I’m not going to try it again,” Betts told reporters with a laugh, according to CSNNE.com. “(and) I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, either.?
— Pablo Sandoval might want to check up on Diva Legacy a little more often.
Sandoval didn?t skip a beat in his return to the lineup after being benched Thursday for Wednesday night?s in-game Instagram mess. The third baseman has a season-high nine-game hitting streak, during which he?s batting .457 (16-for-35) with six doubles, a triple, a homer and six RBIs.
Sandoval has exactly two hits in each of his last six games, marking the longest multi-hit streak of his career and the longest multi-hit streak by a Red Sox player since Jacoby Ellsbury had two or more hits in six consecutive games in August 2012.
Friday?s game was extra special for Sandoval because it marked his first game in Kansas City since catching the final out of last year?s World Series as a member of the San Francisco Giants.
— Rusney Castillo?s role with the Red Sox is somewhat mysterious. While he entered Friday?s game in the seventh inning as a defensive replacement for Hanley Ramirez, the Cuban outfielder has been absent from Boston?s starting lineup for four of the last five games.
Brock Holt (when Dustin Pedroia?s healthy) and Alejandro De Aza appear to be ahead of Castillo as options against right-handed starters. And Shane Victorino?s eventual return could force Castillo off the major league roster entirely, though manager John Farrell said before Friday?s game the club hasn?t considered shipping Castillo back to Triple-A Pawtucket just yet.
— Mike Napoli has a hit in each of his last three games — and two hits in two of those games — since snapping an 0-for-18 drought Tuesday.
— The Red Sox announced that they signed five more of their draft picks: right-hander Kevin Kelleher (12th round), left-hander Logan Boyd (19th round), left-hander Brad Stone (24th round), right-hander Trevor Kelley (36th round) and right-hander Adam Lau (37th round).
Boston so far has signed 10 of the 39 players it selected in this year?s draft.
Thumbnail photo via Denny Medley/USA TODAY Sports Images