For the past week, the Red Sox' pitching has been so good that it was almost easy to forget that the offense had gone quiet.
With Garrett Richards limiting the Mets to a single run Tuesday, it didn't matter than his teammates scored just two runs. The same thing happened Wednesday when Nick Pivetta and three relievers blanked the Mets and it almost went unnoticed that they were provided with exactly one run of support.
Even dating back to Sunday, the Seattle Mariners were so busy walking the ballpark -- six inside the first two meetings -- the fact that the Sox had accumulated just five hits was, in the end, inconsequential.
But on Thursday night, with the defense suddenly slipshod and the bullpen suddenly leaky, the lack of offense finally caught up to them. For third straight game, the Red Sox underachieved, and this time, it cost them in a 4-1 loss to the the Texas Rangers.
In dropping the opener of the four-game series, the Red Sox produced all of three hits. Over the last three games, they've totaled four whole runs. And at no point in the last four games have the Red Sox had more than five hits. The fact that they were able to win three of those games constitutes a minor miracle.
Gone, for now, is the powerful lineup that earlier this month averaged eight runs per game during the nine-game winning streak that turned their season around in a hurry.
"Overall, it's been a grind the last week, to be honest with you,'' acknowledged Alex Cora. "We haven't been able to do too much.''