It’s official. The Red Sox have completed their evolution from baseball’s lovable losers of the 20th-century to envied champions of the 21st.

The Red Sox aren’t the Patriots yet, neither as rulers of their sport nor objects of scorn, but they’re inching in that direction. The latter half of that equation surfaced during, of all times, the NBC broadcast of Game 6 of the Bruins-Maple Leafs series Sunday.

Even revered Doc Emrick, genteel voice of the NHL, took his whack, however mild, at baseball’s April pinata during his call of the Bruins’ 4-2, Game 7-forcing victory over the Maple Leafs in Toronto.

“Often in baseball, fortunes are measured by how much money you spend,” Emrick said. “How them Red Sox doing?”

Much better, thank you for asking, but they still have a lot of real estate to cover to get back on top.

A couple of hours after Emrick’s rib, which he punctuated by saying he was “half-kidding,” Jackie Bradley dropped a beautiful bunt to move a pair of runners 90 feet, Christian Vazquez drove in the winning run with a deep sacrifice fly to right and Ryan Brasier put the finishing touches on the 4-3, 11-inning victory with a 1-2-3 save, sending the Red Sox into a 10-game homestand feeling like winners.

If you’re going to win your first series of the season more than three weeks into the season, it might as well be a sweep against one of your two biggest threats to repeating as AL East champions.

The second-place Yankees had a big weekend too and have won 5 of 6 to move within 21/2 games of the Rays, but it was not a weekend without its costs. Aaron Judge checked onto a Yankees injured list more crowded than a slumping hitter’s head with a strained oblique muscle.

Bradley’s head just might have found what it needed to find room to relax.

Many a prolonged hitting slump has ended with a bunt for a base hit, so it’s not a reach to believe that Bradley’s perfectly placed sacrifice bunt can be just the tension-reliever the .148-hitting center fielder needed to get his season going.

Bradley has been far from alone in a rough start to the season for the Red Sox (9-13).

Some of the stumbling out of the gate undoubtedly can be traced to Manager Alex Cora’s decision to take it slowly in a second half of February and into March that felt in many ways as much like a spring break as spring training.

The lack of intensity during the exhibition season played a part to an atypical lack of alertness in the field in the early stages of the regular season. The lack of innings in exhibition games from much of the rotation played a role in the starting pitchers getting rocked early, but with David Price (10 strikeouts in five innings) leading the way, the rotation has a sunnier outlook. Nathan Eovaldi’s bone chips were cleared up in surgery a year ago and he returned in style. No reason to believe he can’t do that again after surgery.

Chris Sale, yet to prove he’s all the way back from shoulder woes that dogged him last fall, holds the key to the rotation remaining a strength that can restore the Sox. Starting with the opener of the homestand vs. Tigers (which was postponed from Monday to part of a doubleheader on Tuesday), Sale can either keep the good vibes flowing or continue the cloud of doubt that hovers over the club’s decision to sign him to a five-year, $145 million contract extension.

Not that they had any reason to look at it that way, but it was on the Red Sox to complete the Happy Easter Sunday hat trick for Boston, a memorable day with the Bruins’ series-evener bookended by sweeps from the Celtics over the overmatched Pacers and the Red Sox three-game sweep of the formerly hot Rays, whose lead over the fourth-place Red Sox dwindled to five games.