The Boston Red Sox have one of the worst offenses in the major leagues. Sunday’s 7-6 win over the A’s marked the first time in eight days that the Sox scored more than three runs.

The offensive outburst was needed to overcome an unexpected implosion by the Boston bullpen. It was just as surprising to see the Sox score more runs Sunday they had in the previous three games combined.

A sputtering offense puts a lot of pressure on a pitching staff. Sox starters have managed to give their team a fighting chance in spite of the anemic bats. Heading into Monday night’s game in Seattle, the Sox had scored just 18 runs in the previous seven games – yet had a winning record (4-3) in that stretch.

The starting rotation should be the least of Manager John Farrell’s concerns. Yet he has some tricky decisions to make concerning who will start games between now and the All-Star break.

Brandon Workman (2.88) and Rubby De La Rosa (2.51) have the lowest ERAs of any Sox starters, yet both could be on their way off the roster. That’s because Felix Doubront and Clay Buchholz are back from their rehab stints and have reclaimed their places on the staff.

Trouble is, Doubront has a 5.19 ERA after giving up a three-run homer in the first inning of his first game back Friday night. And Buchholz has a 7.02 ERA, giving up 75 hits in 50 innings this season. They have more experience then Workman and De La Rosa, but with every game vital right now, do they really give the Sox their best chance of winning?

And what about Tuesday’s starter, Jake Peavy? He’s a long-time veteran with a Cy Young Award in his trophy case. He’s widely admired for the intangibles he brings to the clubhouse. Yet he hasn’t won a game in two months, and has a 5.17 ERA in his last eight starts. Opponents have hit him at a .315 clip in that stretch. Not surprisingly, the Red Sox are 1-7 in those games.

You’ve got to wonder if Peavy, at 33 years old, is nearing the end of his career. He’s not a candidate to move into the bullpen, having made just one relief appearance in his career. Peavy’s start in Seattle could be an important one if he wants to keep getting the ball.

Jon Lester and John Lackey have been consistent at the top of the rotation, yet the Sox need to figure out what to do with them long-term.

Lester is a free agent at the end of the season and would hit the market as one of the game’s top pitchers. Lackey, because of a clause in his contract that was triggered when he missed the 2012 season due to Tommy John surgery, will see his salary drop from $15.25 million this year to $500,000 next year. He undoubtedly won’t be happy about that.

All of this is why it’s so encouraging to see the young pitchers delivering. Yet General Manager Ben Cherington won’t know how good the Workmans and De La Rosas can be if they’re not pitching.

The business of baseball can be tough on young players, but the top priority of any business is to succeed. With Boston’s bats still trying to get going, the Sox need their best pitchers out there every night.

Figuring out a way to keep those pitchers on the mound will be a tough task in the weeks ahead.

Tom Caron is the studio host for Red Sox broadcasts on NESN. His column appears in the Press Herald on Tuesdays.