Within a span of 10 days, the Red Sox lost their closer and their center fielder to serious injuries. They also staggered through a 1-5 road trip.
Expectations that were already diminished were sinking even more.
“I think we all know how it looks. But you can’t give up in this game or in anything in life,” Kevin Youkilis said. “We’ve all played this game long enough that we know things can turn around. You just need to have some confidence.”
Or a bunch of guys who can hit home runs. That works, too.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, MIke Aviles, and Cody Ross all went deep Saturday as the Red Sox again pounded the Rays, this time 13-5.
The Sox scored 22 runs in their first six games. They have 25 in the last two. The five dingers today were three more than they had all season. In the 11 innings since Ellsbury walked off the field holding his arm, the Sox have scored 21 runs. Go figure.
“We have to keep on rolling,” said Ortiz, who is hitting .406 through eight games. “Definitely it’s going to hurt us not having Ells in our lineup. We’re going to miss him a lot. But we can come out and produce like we did today.”
Lost in the flurry of offense was an oddly satisfying day for Clay Buchholz, who gave up five earned runs (two more than he ever had in any of his previous eight starts against the Rays) in the first three innings, but stuck around for seven to get the win.
“If you ask any of the starters on this team, it’s all about winning,” Buchholz said. “You don’t want to give up runs or walk guys, but it’s always the result you look at.”
Finally, there is this: It was the second consecutive win for the Sox, an unpretentious streak to be sure. But they had not won two straight since sweeping a doubleheader from Oakland last Aug. 27.
“I think I’ve forgotten everything about last year,” Youkilis said. “But you have to start somewhere.”
Two wins in a row and two games out of first after that messy first week. That’s not a bad place to start.
Felix Doubront against Matt Moore on Sunday. Catch you then.