The lineup trotted out by the Boston Red Sox on Monday might not be what we’ll see for the rest of the year, but they showed enough in a beatdown of the Toronto Blue Jays to indicate it might be worth riding out for a bit.
After a flurry of roster moves over the last few days, Sox manager Alex Cora elected to bump top prospect Jarren Duran to second in the order and moved Alex Verdugo to the sixth spot. The resulting tweak to the middle of the lineup saw Xander Bogaerts hit third, Rafael Devers fourth and J.D. Martinez fifth — a diversion from the usual Martinez-Devers-Bogaerts order.
Hunter Renfroe, Danny Santana and Kevin Plawecki rounded out the lineup.
Cora was handsomely rewarded in the 13-4 win, largely thanks largely to an eight-run first inning that saw Duran, Kiké Hernández and Renfroe (grand slam), all go deep. Devers blasted a homer an inning later, Santana went yard in the fourth and Hernández hit his second dinger of the night in the sixth.
“I’m not saying this is the way we’re gonna go the rest of the season,” Cora told reporters after the game, via The Boston Globe. “But it just felt right today. And we’ll see where it takes us.”
The Red Sox offense had been on the quieter side in the three games following the All-Star break, so this was a much-needed jolt of life from the bats. Whether or not the lineup change was the impetus for the rebound needs a larger sample size to be determined, but it has things going in the right direction.