The Red Sox played it smart. There was no postgame talk of making statements or sending messages. They’ll leave that to others.
With baseball, there’s always a game the next day. Pausing to reflect is never a very smart idea.
“We’re playing well but we need to keep it going,” Jason Varitek said.
The Sox finished 9-4 in a stretch of 13 games (11 on the road) in 13 days against contenders. They played three straight first-place teams to finish it off and went 7-1 against the Twins, Phillies and Rays. They gave up only 16 runs in those eight games.
To be fair, the Phillies are in a phunk and the Rays were due for a little reality check after their 32-12 start. But the Sox are playing well. They’re a different team when David Ortiz is a presence in the middle of the lineup and the starters are working into the seventh or eighth inning instead of the sixth. The bullpen, beaten up in April, is lined up in May.
Now come four against the Royals and three against the A’s at home followed by a road trip to Baltimore and Cleveland. The Sox are back in the mix in the division and continuing to win series will get them where they want to go.
As for Adrian Beltre’s night, here are a few facts and figures to send you off:
* The 12 total bases were the most for a Red Sox player since Kevin Millar hit three homers against the Yankees on July 23, 2004.
* Beltre is hitting .341 with a .371 on-base percentage. Nobody expected that.
* Beltre is 16 of his last 31 and leads the Sox with 19 multi-hit games this season.
“I wouldn’t call it a groove, but I feel OK,” he said.
Mike Cameron, dressing in the next locker over, let out a loud laugh. Beltre looked at him and smiled. This team is having some fun.