After scoring only 14 runs combined in four games entering Wednesday's contest with the Cleveland Indians, the Boston Red Sox have now hammered out 14 runs in each of their last two games, with Thursday's victim being the Detroit Tigers.
This marked the eighth time since 1919 that Boston scored at least 14 runs in back-to-back games, and first time since July of 1998.
Much to the relief of Red Sox fans, at the forefront of this offensive outburst is Carl Crawford, who had two triples as part of his second straight four-hit game. He's just the fourth different Red Sox player (joining Dustin Pedroia, Jim Rice and Wade Boggs, who did it three different times) with consecutive four-hit games in the divisional era.
Crawford's also the first Red Sox player with at least four hits and at least two extra-base hits in consecutive games since Del Pratt did it in back-to-back games on August 23-24, 1921.
In the last two games alone Crawford has raised his average from .212 to .244 and seen his slugging percentage jump from .293 to .368 during that same stretch.
While all the talk following the game centered on Boston's offense, entering Thursday's contest the buzz surrounded the man tasked with shutting it down. Heading into the game, Max Scherzer was 3-0 in five home starts with a 0.77 ERA, the lowest ERA for a Tigers pitcher in his first five home starts of a season since 1945, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Scherzer's home ERA is now 2.43 following the Tigers' 14-1 loss to the Red Sox.
Red Sox Hitters vs Max Scherzer
Scherezer faced three batters in the second inning without recording an out before exiting. Almost all the damage was done by the seven left-handed hitters in Boston's lineup. Nine of the 15 batters Scherzer faced reached base, and six of the seven hits he allowed were to left-handed batters.
Elsewhere around the majors:
• After using eight different relief pitchers on Wednesday in their 19-inning win over the Cincinnati Reds, Cliff Lee gave the Philadelphia Phillies bullpen a much-needed day off, throwing eight innings. But it was his bat that contributed almost as much as his arm. Cliff Lee had two hits and three RBI, without the benefit of a home run. He's just the fifth Phillies pitcher since Divisional Play began in 1969 to do that.
• The Florida Marlins defeated the San Francisco Giants 1-0 behind Anibal Sanchez who pitched the third shutout of his career. It marked just the fifth time in franchise history that a pitcher threw a 1-0 shutout. Sanchez has allowed zero earned runs in four of his last seven starts.
As for the Giants, their first game without Buster Posey displayed their offensive deficiencies that could prevent them from reaching the playoffs. According to 10,000 simulations done by Accuscore.com, the injury dropped the Giants' chances of making the playoffs to 44.4 percent if he is out for the entire season.