Playing well at home is important to any team, but especially when in a competitive division race down the stretch of the season, which is exactly the situation the Red Sox find themselves in with the American League East.
Luckily for the Red Sox, 16 of their remaining 28 games are at Fenway Park and the team has one of the best home records in all of baseball.
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Following Wednesday’s come-from-behind win over the Orioles, the Red Sox have won eight of their last 11 and 19 of their last 27 at Fenway Park. Their 42-23 record is good for the best in the American League.
Going along with the teams’ success at home has been the top of the Red Sox’ order’s dominance, particularly of late. Over the past 11 home games, dating back to July 30, the top-three hitters in the Red Sox lineup (Jacoby Ellsbury, Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia) are hitting a combined .318 with 32 runs scored and 31 RBIs, leading the team to the eight wins.
“Any time they’re getting on base at the rate they are, that’s why they’re at the top of the order,” manager John Farrell said. “The more time they can come to the plate, the more time they can get on base and be driven in. To have that kind of on-base ahead of our middle of the order bats, it’s a good combination.”
Over the 11 game stretch, the Red Sox have scored 68 runs, an average of 6.18 per game, which is well over their 5.07 runs per game overall. Additionally, of those 68 runs scored, the top-three hitters have scored 32 of them and driven in 31, so these three players are responsible for virtually half of the offense in this impressive stretch.
Ellsbury has led the way hitting .347 (17-for-49) with 10 runs scored and 5 RBIs, while Victorino hasn’t been far behind, batting .310 (12-for-42) with 13 runs scored and 14 RBIs, highlighted by his five runs scored and seven-RBI performance Tuesday night. Pedroia has remained steady in the No. 3 spot hitting at a .298 clip with nine runs scored and 12 RBIs.
Clearly the top third of the Red Sox order is leading the charge at home of late, where they will be put to the test coming up as three of the remaining five home series’ will be against teams in the American League playoff hunt where every game matters. The Red Sox will wrap up their series with Baltimore Thursday night before welcoming the White Sox to town for a weekend series, which should give the Sox offense a chance to keep riding their momentum and their top-three hitters to continue to carry them into the final month of the year.
Follow Metro Red Sox beat writer Ryan Hannable on Twitter @hannable84