BOSTON -- The Red Sox entered Sunday night's action with the Tigers in the midst of their third three-game losing streak of the season, but with the knowledge that they could be just a tick from where they need to be.
A 5-10 record in one-run games serves as another reminder that the fortunes of the team should improve greatly once the hits start coming with men on base.
"One thing I will continually say is that for the first 42 games, we have done a very good job of getting on base," said manager John Farrell. "Third in the American League [in on-base percentage], and the disconnect is the runs scored.
"You go from third in on-base to 10th or 11th [in runs scored], and that's where I think opposing pitchers have managed our lineup a bit to get to spots in it to shut off an inning, to take advantage of possibly some inexperience, and yet we still can't abandon our approach at the plate, and that is to see pitches and grind out at-bats to get into a bullpen hopefully sooner than later."
At this point, Farrell doesn't anticipate any major lineup changes.
"Well, we have the players that are here," said Farrell. "We're going to continue to put together a game plan to work to win each and every night. We've seen a couple of different alignments that have included everyone on this roster, and we'll continue to work toward that end."
Farrell: Young players need time to watch
BOSTON -- Jackie Bradley Jr., who took a .200 average into Sunday night's game, was back in the lineup after getting a day off on Saturday.
Red Sox manager John Farrell hoped the center fielder benefited from the chance to be a spectator for a day.
"I think the need comes up for almost every player, regardless of age, where a breather can be helpful," said Farrell. "But I think when you look at Xander [Bogaerts] or Jackie, in their particular case, the ability to sit and watch a game from the dugout can be beneficial. Being a left-handed hitter, in Jackie's case, how are the left-handed pitchers attacking those hitters in that case, just to see it differently without the in-game emotion that might be attached to it."
If things start clicking for Bogaerts and Bradley, the fortunes of the Red Sox could improve greatly. But there's never any telling when young players will take the next step.
"I think the game will speed up on everybody, regardless of their age," Farrell said. "It might happen more readily for a guy who's less experienced. When you see some of the actions inside the game or in between the lines, that might lend to them speeding up emotionally, that's when you might take a brief step back to let them regroup, and we're hopeful that that happens. I think we've seen it with Xander in short stints where we've held him out, and hopefully Jackie's been able to benefit from a day down yesterday."
Cherington: Red Sox always looking to improve
BOSTON -- Stephen Drew, who helped the Red Sox win the World Series last season, continues to be a free agent. Could Boston rekindle its interest in Drew now that Will Middlebrooks is back on the disabled list?
"I think what I've said before I would say again. We have to evaluate every situation based on the information we have at that time," Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington told WEEI.com. "If information changes, then our position may evolve and change along with it. That doesn't mean we get every decision right, of course we don't. But every decision we make, every position we take, is based on the information we have at that time. That's led us to where we are now."
The Red Sox were just three games back in the American League East entering Sunday action.
"Right now, we know we're right in the middle of this division," Cherington said. "We know there are a lot of strengths on the team. We have a lot of depth, even before the 25-man roster that we might be able to count on maybe later in the year. We know we have position players that are going to hit more, because that's what they've always done.
"And we know we've got an area on the left side of the infield where we're missing a player, and where we haven't gotten the total performance that we would like to get at this point in the year. I think what all that means is that we'll continue to look at the information we have in front of us at the time and try to make decisions accordingly. There is always an interest in improving. The default position is always let's see how much we can get internally first, and then consider external alternatives after that."