Friday, March 7, 2014
(Continued from page 1)
Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz holds his bat after striking out in the seventh inning of a game against the Toronto Blue Jays in Boston on Friday. As a team, the Sox have already struck out 317 times this season. Only the woeful Houston Astros have more punchouts in the AL.
WHO: Red Sox (Lackey 1-3) at Tampa Bay Rays (Moore 6-0)
WHEN: 7:10 p.m.
We knew coming into the season that this month would be challenging. Monday was the only scheduled off-day in May, and they spent it traveling to Florida. Yet a road trip might be just what this team needs. Boston has hit .269 with a .355 slugging percentage in road games this season compared to .266/.333 at Fenway Park. They're scoring close to a run more per game on the road. That's hard to imagine when home is a hitter-friendly park like Fenway.
Getting the bats to wake up in Tampa Bay won't be easy as the Sox face 6-0 Matt Moore, reigning Cy Young Award winner David Price, and up-and-coming star Alex Cobb. It's the start of another long stretch of baseball -- 20 games in 20 days taking them through the first weekend of June.
We've heard a lot about the great character this team has shown to start the season. They'll need to draw on the strength of that character to get through the frustration of an offense that has been sputtering for the past two weeks.
Tom Caron is the studio host for Red Sox broadcasts on the New England Sports Network. His column appears in the Press Herald on Tuesdays.