DETROIT — The prevailing feeling for the Red Sox after their nine-run, 12-hit output in the 9-7 win over the Tigers on Wednesday was: That’s more like it.
Before that, the most they had managed in a game was five runs (twice) and nine hits, with the nine coming in Tuesday’s 5-3 victory.
Of course, a large part of that came at the expense of former teammate Eduardo Rodriguez, who started for the Tigers on a rainy afternoon at Comerica Park.
Kiké Hernández hit a solo home run off Rodriguez in the third inning and in the fourth, a fielding error by third baseman Jeimer Candelario with two outs hurt Rodriguez even more.
“We did a good job with Eduardo,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “He came out of the chute throwing 96 [mph] right away. The second time around, the velo came down. He was throwing 92, 91, and Kiké hit one, I don’t know, he didn’t square that one off the changeup, but after that, we put good at-bat after good at-bat. That was a good sign.
“Eddie, he’s a good pitcher, he has good stuff. He was nibbling a lot and when we got him in the zone, we did damage. It was a good offensive day. We left a lot out there, too. We had chances but I think overall, the way we finished the road trip, I think halfway through the game yesterday and today, was a good sign offensively.”
Batting ninth, right fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. snapped an 0-for-11 skid with a two-run double in the fourth and the Red Sox just kept hitting.
“We just were trying to stick with our game plans and we were able to execute,” Bradley Jr. said. “Started out with J.D. [Martinez], that [leadoff] walk was huge. Just trying to keep him in the zone and swing at good pitches.”
Bradley finished 2-for-5 with one run scored and two RBIs.
“It’s great, it’s special,” Bradley said of Boston’s offense. “We got guys who can do a lot of damage in the lineup. Once we finally click and put it all together, hopefully we can put a lot of runs on the board.”
Cora was thrilled to see Bradley having as much success on offense as he has had on defense this season.
“He was good,” Cora said. “He hit the ball the other way. That was a big one right there and then the one right center. Played great defense. There’s certain lefties that we will play him because it’s a good matchup for us, we feel. Today he did an amazing job offensively.”
Even second baseman Trevor Story, who was recovered enough to play after a suspected bout of food poisoning, drove in a run during the six-run fourth.
“It was good, got a couple hits and made some good swings, I felt like,” said Story, who also singled in the eighth. “Still getting there but it’s always good to help the team win and at the end of the day, that’s what we did.”
Cora said Story was not in the original lineup but was happy he felt well enough to play.
“He missed one on a slider,” Cora said. “That was a good swing. I wasn’t actually planning on playing him, and I saw him at breakfast and I’m like, ‘Hey, how do you feel?’ He said, ‘I’m playing.’ Oh, OK, cool. We changed the lineup. Looking forward for him to get more reps, play nine innings and get ready. He’s gonna help us a lot.”
One of the beneficiaries of the offensive outburst was starter Nathan Eovaldi, who allowed two home runs in five innings.
“Our offense is one of the best in the game,” Eovaldi said. “When they’re able to go out there and put up runs, it makes it easier for me to go out there and pitch, try to pitch to contact and attack their batters, get our guys back in the dugout and stay dry.”
In five career starts against the Tigers, Eovaldi’s teams are 5-0.
Story, who is excited to make his Fenway Park debut as a member of the Red Sox at the home opener Friday, thinks Wednesday’s game was a good indicator of what the fans can expect this season.
“That right there is kind of the snapshot of the kind of offense we can be,” Story said. “Just kind of overwhelming and a long, deep lineup. I think we put at-bats together like that, that’s what’s going to happen.”