TORONTO -- There are definitely some lineups that look more impressive on paper than the Red Sox, particularly the Blue Jays team that is across the field from them this weekend.But sometimes the best offensive units are the ones that grind out every at-bat and feed off each other. Four
TORONTO -- There are definitely some lineups that look more impressive on paper than the Red Sox, particularly the Blue Jays team that is across the field from them this weekend.
But sometimes the best offensive units are the ones that grind out every at-bat and feed off each other. Four games into the season, the Red Sox, who downed the Blue Jays 8-4 on Saturday, are looking like that type of team.
Off to a 3-1 start, the Red Sox have scored six or more runs in their first four games. It is the first time a Boston team has accomplished that over the first four games since the 1995 squad managed by Kevin Kennedy.
There were no two-homer, four-RBI showings like the one Jose Bautista had for the Jays on Saturday. Instead, there was a steady line of attack that was led by Dustin Pedroia (3-for-5). Everyone but Pablo Sandoval had at least one hit. This, on a day that star slugger David Ortiz never got off the bench.
"The biggest thing is the trust they're developing with one another," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "Nobody feels like they have to be the guy within a given inning where they have to expand [the strike zone]. Pass the baton, get on base and I think that's one of the primary reasons we're scoring the number of runs we are."
Perhaps this momentum started down the stretch last season.
"This is kind of how we felt like we finished the year last year," said Travis Shaw, who ripped an RBI double. "Just that kind of 'grind you out, everybody contributes, everybody has their role' type of thing. To me, personally, it seems like it's a long, dangerous lineup."
Good lineups can make their own breaks, like the one Hanley Ramirez got on Saturday when he lined what should have been a single to right, only to have it take a high, turf hop over Bautista's head for a two-run triple.
Brock Holt -- Friday night's grand slam hero -- reached on a strikeout turned into passed ball as part of a rally in the fourth. Ramirez scored on a passed ball in the fifth. When runners are constantly on the bases, breaks can be capitalized on.
Over the past two days, the Sox have twice put up an eight-spot to beat the defending American League East champion Blue Jays. And they've done it with comebacks.
"We've done something the last couple of games that we didn't do last year early," hitting coach Chili Davis said. "We're behind, and really to come back and go up in games, that's good to see. You want them to know you can do that. It's a boost for your offense, it's a boost for your pitching staff, it's a boost for your team."
The Red Sox are deep on the bench, too, with Rusney Castillo (two hits on Saturday), Sandoval and Chris Young.
"It's only four games, but you could sense guys coming into Spring Training and saying this is going to be a different year for us. We're going to be a different team," said Davis. "Any championship type lineup that you have, there's always a different guy each day that comes through for you. It's never relying on one or two or three guys."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com.