The Red Sox obliterated the Orioles Saturday, 16-2, amid Chris Sale returning for the first time in over two years.

Through the past four games, Boston has mustered 45 runs, and that includes a two-hit performance Thursday. Kiké Hernandez had more walks (3) than the team had hits.

The Red Sox have now seemed to have found their stride. But with them being now 4.0 games back of the Rays, they can’t afford to pile on 19 hits and beat Tampa Bay 20-8, and then go cold the following day, with just two hits. They need consistency, and it wouldn’t be right to put up 45 runs through just four games, and then not continue the momentum.

Chris Sale will help in adding consistency, as the faltering Martin Perez and Garrett Richards are no longer in the starting rotation. If Boston can get consistent, quality starts nearly every day, it will pay dividends.

The Sox haven’t done all that bad when Richards and Perez have started, at 27-22 on the season, but both have gotten offensive production behind them. Just one of those 27 wins consists of Boston scoring less than five runs.

Now, the Sox have just one struggling pitcher in the rotation, which is Eduardo Rodriguez — and advanced metrics show that the lefty is getting unlucky at all-time high levels.

Everything is leaning in the right direction for Boston in order to make a push at taking back the division they had secured before the All-Star Break. A fairly easy schedule is coming upon the Red Sox — after a three-game set this week against the Yankees, just 17 of the 38 games remaining are against teams with a winning record.

Other thoughts:

– Bobby Dalbec has seemingly found his stride at the plate. He blasted two homers Saturday, and went 3-for-4 Friday with a single, double, and a long ball.

– Christian Vazquez has to produce more at the plate. With Kevin Plawecki having a phenomenal year, Vazquez has started to see a decline in appearances. He’s hit just .251/.301/.332 this season to go along with four big flies, and is 0-for-9 in his past three games.

– How will Christian Arroyo contribute when he returns from the injured list?

– Yairo Munoz has now had his hit steak up to 35 games for Triple-A Worcester, breaking an organization record. He had a short stint with the Sox last season, but missed the roster cut this season and has put together a solid season with the WooSox. Despite him thriving, manager Alex Cora said it’s likely he doesn’t get called up, as their’s no space on the 40-man roster.

– Garrett Richards could be much better in the bullpen. He has good stuff, but struggled this season to put together a complete, quality start. His three-inning save the other night also rested one, if not two arms.

– Danny Santana and Christian Arroyo are likely being sent on rehab assignments this week. There’s without a doubt room for Arroyo, but is there really room for Santana?

– No, the Red Sox should not have depleted the farm system just for rentals. But the acquisitions of Hansel Robles and Austin Davis don’t seem to be working out too well.

 (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

 

 

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