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Pesky Sox grind out at-bats, keep foot on gas

Boston offense starting to heat up at Fenway
MLB.com @IanMBrowne

BOSTON -- The relentlessness is returning to the Red Sox's offense, just as it is finally starting to heat up at Fenway Park.

That was evident throughout Saturday's 11-3 win over the Tigers, when the Sox wore down Justin Verlander (108 pitches over five innings) and then battered Detroit's bullpen.

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BOSTON -- The relentlessness is returning to the Red Sox's offense, just as it is finally starting to heat up at Fenway Park.

That was evident throughout Saturday's 11-3 win over the Tigers, when the Sox wore down Justin Verlander (108 pitches over five innings) and then battered Detroit's bullpen.

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Eight of the nine hitters in manager John Farrell's starting lineup had at least one hit, with leadoff man Mookie Betts the lone exception.

"He's the best player on our team, so it doesn't count," quipped winning pitcher Chris Sale. "I think he walked a few times anyways, too."

Yes, Betts walked three times. Dustin Pedroia scored three times and had two hits. Xander Bogaerts smashed three hits, including two doubles. Mitch Moreland scored twice, had two hits and drove in three runs. Andrew Benintendi had just one hit, but three RBIs. Farrell opted to give Pablo Sandoval the night off, and Josh Rutledge rewarded that decision by collecting two hits and reaching base five times.

Video: DET@BOS: Rutledge extends the lead with an RBI single

And all No. 9 hitter Sandy Leon did was make Verlander throw him 19 pitches in his first two at-bats.

"All night long, we did a very good job with long at-bats, staying within the strike zone, really being relentless at the plate, which is what we try to instill, try to take pride in," said Farrell.

When the Red Sox score, they just about always win. They've won 39 of their last 40 games when scoring six-plus runs. And they have outscored their opponents, 122-70, after the sixth.

"Yeah, shoot, they gave me a lead, I gave it right back, they gave me another lead, I gave it right back, and they kept their heads down and kept running," said Sale.

Kept hitting is more like it. The Red Sox look primed to start going gap to gap again at hitter-friendly Fenway Park.

"We're trying to put quality at-bats together," said center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. "Obviously we were able to [attack] them a little bit more towards the end, but I think that just kind of shows the focus that we're going to have to have throughout the whole game and not take anything for granted."

Video: DET@BOS: Rutledge draws a walk with the bases loaded

While batting barrages at Fenway were a frequent occurrence last season, Saturday marked just the second time Boston has produced double-digit numbers at home this season.

But that could change in a hurry.

"The last couple nights have been some fun games," said Moreland. "It's where you want to be as a team, fighting those out until the end and coming out on top."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox