John Farrell was aware of the numbers. Entering last night, the Red Sox had scored only 36 runs on 91 hits in their last 11 games. As a team, the Sox batted .244 with a .310 on-base percentage. And Tuesday night, they went 1-for-26 after David Ortiz’ first-inning home run. But Farrell is a managerial disciple of Terry Francona, so he is well-trained at projecting calm even amid the tempest that forms whenever the Red Sox lose nine times in an 11-game span. So, with the masses clamoring for a massive shakeup of the batting order tonight, Farrell kept the status quo. Panic? What panic? “It’s important for these players to know we believe in our guys, that we like this team,” Farrell said. “And it’s our job to help support them and get them back on track, the track they’ve been very successful on.” Sure enough, the Red Sox rewarded Farrell’s faith, busting out for eight runs in the third inning en route to a 9-2 laugher against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. And if a bout of triceps tightness hadn’t knocked Rays ace David Price from the game after only 57 pitches, the Sox’ awakened offense may have done so shortly thereafter. Looking for positives? There were plenty to go around, from Stephen Drew’s grand slam that all but turned out the lights to the opposite-field double and homer that indicated Will Middlebrooks finally may be emerging from his six-week slump. With nine runs, the Red Sox equaled their highest scoring output in May and provided more than enough support for starter Jon Lester to join teammate Clay Buchholz, Tampa Bay’s Matt Moore, the Cleveland Indians’ Justin Masterson and Yu Darvish of the Texas Rangers in the club of American League six-game winners.
Red Sox bats wake up in 9-2 win over Rays
Boston Herald | May 16