TORONTO -- Score 14 runs, win valuable prizes?
Well, maybe not. But by scoring 14 runs against the Blue Jays here Monday night, the most runs they’ve scored in a game all season, the Red Sox have shed the label of the league’s weakest offense.
The Sox, in fact, leapfrogged five other teams to rank 10th in runs scored in the American League, ahead of the Mariners, Rays, Yankees, Royals and Astros.
Since the Sox began their current hot streak on July 9, after losing seven of the first eight games of a 10-game homestand, here is how they rank among the American League’s five hottest teams.
During that time, the club has scored five or more runs six times, and have posted a batting slash line of .307/.374/.486/.860. They’ve also hit 10 home runs, all in the past six games, four on Monday night.
But while the delayed arrival of the Sox offense is drawing most of the attention, the team’s pitching performance should not be overlooked. Yes, the Sox have scored 57 runs in that time, but they’ve allowed just 19, a run differential of plus-38.
The staff ERA is 2.11 over the past nine games, with 78 strikeouts and 15 walks. Sox starters are 6-1 with a 2.18 ERA in that span, with six starts of seven innings or more.
And the team’s glovework has also been strong in that span, as opponents have not scored an unearned run.
"Guys are playing loose, guys are playing confident,” manager John Farrell said, “and we’re playing to the capabilities that we felt we had ... over the course of the year.”
Whether any of that translates into success for Tuesday’s starter, Jake Peavy, remains to be seen. Peavy has made 19 starts this season and has just one win, which came 88 days ago here, when he beat the Blue Jays, 8-1, on April 25. Peavy has the fewest wins of any big-league pitcher this season with at least 19 starts; perhaps he will take comfort in knowing only six pitchers in big-league history with at least 19 starts have finished a season with just one win.