The Boston Red Sox placed right fielder Shane Victorino on the DL in the middle of May due to a hamstring injury. Though Victorino was one of the biggest free agent signings Boston made this past offseason, it didn’t struggle terribly without him considering its depth in the outfield.
Since his return on June 8, though, Victorino has definitely been struggling. Through 11 games leading up to Friday night’s matchup with the Detroit Tigers in the month of June, Victorino was hitting just .256 with only a .326 OBP and .685 OPS. He’s also only driven in one run, though he had scored seven runs and had four stolen bases.
On Friday night, though, Victorino came to play. He started off his night with a solo home run in the first. He then had a two-RBI single in the fourth inning and another RBI single in the sixth. He then grounded into a fielder’s choice in the eighth inning that drove in another run.
Victorino finished the night 4-5 with five RBI and a run scored on a night when the Boston bats were making serious noise as they notched 17 hits en-route to a 10-6 victory over hard-hitting Detroit.
The importance of Victorino’s early offense in this game was that it gave the struggling Jon Lester a cushion to work with on the mound. Lester has been getting shelled as of late and didn’t exactly look great on Friday as he allowed five runs on nine hits and three walks in 5.2 innings pitched. However, Victorino’s offense helped earn Lester his seventh victory of the year.
With the dog-days of summer fixing to get underway for the MLB, the Red Sox will need to keep their bats alive and Victorino will need to be a big part of that. For Boston, hopefully Friday night is a sign of things to come productivity-wise and not just a blip in the radar.