Red Sox make early habit of hitting in the clutch

Red Sox make early habit of hitting in the clutch
April 4, 2013, 11:15 am
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NEW YORK -- Through their first two games, the Red Sox have scored 15 runs -- all without benefit of a single home run.
      
For that matter, the Sox have just four extra-base hits in the first two games. Twenty-two of their 26 hits have been singles.
      
But it isn't so much what they're hitting, as when.
      
In an admittedly small sample size, the Red Sox are delivering in the clutch, often with two out.
      
With runners on base, they're hitting .386 as a team. With runners in scoring position, they're hitting .355. And with runners in scoring position and two out, they're hitting. 556.
      
Add in 11 walks in the two games to provide additional baserunners, the Sox keep giving themselves scoring chances.
      
"We've been able to bunch some hits together,'' said John Farrell after the Sox bashed the New York Yankees, 7-4, Wednesday night. "We've worked some deep counts. We've taken walks when we've had the opportunities, but you can't say enough about some two-out base hits to drive in some runs."
      
On Wednesday, five of the seven runs came with two outs.
      
"We've got a number of professional hitters in the lineup," said Farrell, "and they're not afraid to hit with two strikes. They're not trying to do anything extra in those types of situations. I think you're seeing a number of base hits in the middle of the field."
      
Outfielder Shane Victorino has four RBI in two games and all four of them have come after two were out.
      
"Any time you can pick up a run, someway, somehow, especially in two-out situations, they all count,'' said Victorino. "Sometimes it seems a little harder when there's less than two outs and you try to do too much and sometimes you're unsuccessful.
      
"You have to come up with big hits in big situations, like (Wednesday) night and the first game. Coming up with two-out hits is very important. You look back and try to figure out a winning team, that's what they do - come up in clutch situations and some up with big hits.''
      
Two-out hits boost a team, and, at the same time, deflate the opponent.
      
"You put up one run, and then the next thing you know, another hit and it's two more runs,'' said Victorino. "Those things add up. On the other side, you're thinking, 'Jeez.' "