Red Sox hitting coach Peter Fatse believes his offense is on the right track.
After a forgettable start to the season, the Red Sox scored 58 runs in their previous 10 games entering Friday, batting .285 over that span with an .840 OPS. The Sox have hit 12 home runs in those 10 games compared with just 16 over their first 29 games.
“Our commitment to the strike zone has been really good,” Fatse said Friday before the Sox’ 7-3 victory against the Mariners. “We’ve been winning the battleground areas every night that we need to win in order to have success. You’re seeing the slug start to go up, guys hitting the ball in the air a little bit more.”
The Sox have had quality offensive production from Trevor Story, who was fresh off a 4-for-4 game in which he belted three homers, registering seven RBIs. He added to that total Friday with a grand slam in the third inning off Mariners starter Robbie Ray.
Story said after Thursday’s contest that he felt as if he now has better balance at the plate and is on time. Fatse agreed.
“The biggest thing for him is making sure he’s getting started early enough and making sure he has control of his body when he goes to make his forward move on the ball,” Fatse said. “He’s made a couple tweaks. We worked together to kind of lock in on a couple things that are important for him but most importantly, finding a balance point for him when he’s going forward.”
Brasier optioned to Worcester
The Red Sox officially optioned righthanded reliever Ryan Brasier to Triple A Worcester. Michael Wacha was activated from the injury list.
Brasier dealt with a number of injuries that kept him sidelined for most of last season. He was finally healthy this year, but struggled mightily on the hill, to the tune of a 6.28 ERA in 18 games (14⅓ innings). Brasier had a 1.465 WHIP and allowed a whopping five homers.
“It’s one of those that it’s not an easy decision,” manager Alex Cora said. “We know what he means to us but in the end, he knows he has to get better and he will. It’s a guy that at one point he’s going to come back and he’s going to help us accomplish what we’re trying to do.”
The Sox want Brasier to utilize his four-seam fastball up in the zone, believing that’s where it’s at its best. When the fastball is down that plays a large factor in it getting hit so hard. Overall, though, the fastball didn’t play, with four of the five homers Brasier surrendered coming on that pitch.
Bogaerts leaves with back issue
Xander Bogaerts left Friday’s game in the eighth inning with lower back discomfort after colliding with Alex Verdugo on a fly ball in the top of the inning. Bogaerts is considered day-to-day . . . WooSox starter Connor Seabold was scratched from his start Friday with what Cora described as a right pectoral strain, which is similar to what Garrett Whitlock experienced toward the end of last season. “We shut him down,” Cora said. “We’ll see how he progresses in the upcoming days.” The Sox don’t view Seabold’s injury as a huge concern right now. Seabold put together his most impressive start of the year last Sunday, when the righthander went six shutout innings and allowed just one hit while striking out 11. Seabold had a 2.45 ERA in seven starts for Worcester, striking out 37 batters in 36 ⅔ innings pitched. Seabold has a history of injuries, dealing with oblique and elbow issues over the course of his minor league career.