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Red Sox-Tigers takeaways: Boston's red-hot offense comes up clutch originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The Boston Red Sox have the luxury of overcoming bad pitching and poor defense with a dangerous lineup loaded with excellent hitters.
The offense bailed out Boston again Thursday afternoon in a 12-9 win over the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park.
Here are three takeaways from the wild Red Sox victory.
Offense is on fire
The Red Sox entered Thursday leading the American League in runs scored, hits, batting average, doubles, RBI and slugging percentage. They also ranked second in on-base percentage.
The Sox added to these totals in a major way Thursday with 12 runs on 15 hits.
Every Red Sox starter except Hunter Renfroe and Bobby Dalbec tallied at least one hit. Franchy Cordero (3-for-5), Alex Verdugo (2-for-6), J.D. Martinez (2-for-6), Xander Bogaerts (2-for-3), Rafael Devers (2-for-5) and Kevin Plawecki (2-for-4) all had multiple-hit games.
The Red Sox are scoring an average of 7.16 runs over their last six games, including Thursday's offensive explosion. This kind of offensive output is going to help them win a lot of games, especially when the starting pitching disappoints.
Franchy Cordero finally breaks through
Cordero came into Thursday batting .153 and in a 0-for-25 slump.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora didn't pencil Cordero into the starting lineup Thursday, but he got into the game early when Kike Hernandez had to exit after a first-inning double.
Cordero proceeded to tally three hits, an RBI and three runs scored in his best game of the season. He has mostly hit near the bottom of the order, with 56 of his first 59 at-bats coming in the No. 8 or No. 9 spot. His success Thursday in the leadoff spot might make Cora consider batting Cordero a little higher in the lineup. He certainly looked comfortable in that spot versus the Tigers.
Either way, a resurgent Cordero would be just what the Red Sox lineup needs. The offense has been a little too reliant on the heart of the order -- Verdugo, Martinez, Devers and Bogaerts -- lately. More consistent production from Cordero or someone like Renfroe would give Boston's lineup more balance and options late in games.
Nathan Eovaldi struggling?
One of the keys to Boston's early-season success, including a nine-game win streak in April, was better-than-expected starting pitching.
Nathan Eovaldi played a huge part in that strong pitching performance.
He gave up a total of four earned runs over his first three starts of the year. But in his last four outings, he's allowed 16 earned runs, including a season-high six over 4 1/3 innings against the Tigers on Thursday. Eovaldi also surrendered seven hits and a walk, in addition to five strikeouts.
The 31-year-old right-hander has allowed four or more earned runs in three of his last four starts.
Eovaldi hasn't pitched horrible, but his performance has dipped a bit over the last few weeks. Thursday's outing also was the fourth time in seven starts where Eovaldi hasn't pitched further than the fifth inning.
The Red Sox don't have the deepest rotation. They need Eovaldi to be as consistent as possible for this team to be a true AL contender in 2021.