Red Sox Notes: Boston’s Improved Power Fueling Strong Start To 2018 Season

The Boston Red Sox are just crushing baseballs this season.

Boston entered Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park ranked second in Major League Baseball with 65 home runs.

That total grew to 68 on Sunday thanks to two homers by J.D. Martinez and another from Andrew Benintendi. These home runs powered the Red Sox to a 5-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park.

Boston’s 68 home runs are the most in club history through 47 regular-season games.

The Red Sox experienced a power outage last season, ranking 27th in the majors with just 168 home runs. The addition of Martinez in free agency and Mookie Betts becoming an MVP-caliber player again have fueled Boston’s resurgence in 2018. Martinez and Betts sit atop the majors with 15 homers apiece.

But they aren’t the only Red Sox players showing some pop this season. Rafael Devers has hit eight homers, while Hanley Ramirez, Mitch Moreland and Xander Bogaerts all have six blasts.

The Red Sox’s uptick in power has made them a much more well-rounded team. Last year the pitching was solid but the offense was inconsistent. This season the pitching still is very good — the Sox have the third-best team ERA in the American League — and the offense has greatly improved as Boston leads the majors with 253 runs scored.

With this type of balance, the Sox should be able to return to the postseason and be a more formidable opponent compared to the last two playoff runs that ended in the American League Division Series.

— The Red Sox now are 14-1 in series finales this season after Sunday’s win. They’ve also won eight straight series finales.

Boston also improved to 20-9 against the AL East after taking three of four against the Orioles.

— Red Sox utility man Brock Holt went 2-for-3 with a walk, giving him 13 hits in his last 10 games. His batting average now stands at .329 through 74 at-bats.

— Benintendi is starting to get hot at the plate. He went 3-for-5 with a two-run homer in the fifth inning Sunday. The young outfielder has collected 11 hits, including three home runs, in his last 23 at-bats.

— Martinez is on fire in May. The veteran slugger went 2-for-4 with two home runs and three RBIs Sunday, and he’s now batting .351 with 19 RBIs, 10 runs and five doubles in 19 games this month.

— Eduardo Rodriguez improved his record to 4-1 with a solid outing. He did give up nine hits, which is a lot in 5 2/3 innings. But he also struck out seven and didn’t surrender a walk or an earned run. He showed good velocity, reaching the mid-90s with his fastball, while also mixing in an effective changeup.

— Orioles center fielder Adam Jones is an All-Star caliber player, and he showed it at the plate Sunday with three hits (all singles).

Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports

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