Red Sox hitting contagious in win over Tribe

Red Sox hitting contagious in win over Tribe
June 14, 2014, 12:30 am
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BOSTON -- "Like a good laugh or Ebola, hitting can be contagious."

For the Red Sox it's certainly felt that way of late. When it's gone poorly, seemingly everyone has gone in the tank. On a night like Friday's, when the team put together a season-high for runs in its 10-3 win over Cleveland, all Boston bats cackled.

Every Red Sox hitter reached base against Cleveland's never-ending march of mediocre arms -- Tribe manager Terry Francona tried seven in all -- and the only Sox hitter without a hit was David Ortiz, who walked three times (twice intentionally).

It was a group effort unlike the team had seen to this point in the season.

"When there's contributions up and down the lineup, then there's certain guys who don't feel like they have to get something done if they're at the plate with runners in scoring position," Sox manager John Farrell said. "To know and trust one another up and down the lineup, that's what makes us tick best."

Part of being able to trust everyone in the lineup is to have talent there. Daniel Nava's return to form since he re-joined the team on June 4 from Triple A Pawtucket, along with that of Mike Napoli, has added some much needed depth to the Sox offense.

On Friday, Nava had two hits in the game and scored a run in Boston's three-run first against Indians starter Justin Masterson. That followed up a three-hit night the switch-hitting outfielder put together on Thursday.

"Being with a team where everyone's hitting, it's contagious," Nava said. "We got Brock [Holt] starting things off like he does, it seems like he's getting a hit every at-bat, putting together a good swing. Guys feed off that."

He added: "There's a group confidence. It's not that guys weren't confident when things weren't going well, we were just waiting for things to get going. We had a stretch where we did, a skid, and things got going again."

And Nava's been smack in the middle of that recent resurgence. The entire bottom-half of the order thrived against Cleveland in Friday's win, in fact. AJ Pierzynski came through with a timely two-run double in the second inning, which was followed up by an RBI triple off the bat of Jackie Bradley Jr. 

Bradley Jr. scored again on Dustin Pedroia's wall-ball double in the seventh and Nava later drove home David Ortiz with a double of his own down the left field line to make the score 9-3.

"I think guys like daniel Nava getting his stroke back goes a long way to lengthening out the lineup," Farrell said. "Jackie's had some good at-bats the last couple of nights. We're always going to be a group that strives for continuity in the lineup. We've been able to ride some of the peaks and valleys here. But there's a number of guys that are relaxed in the box right now."