Top of order catalyst in offensive eruption

Boston's Betts, Holt and Pedroia collect nine hits, six RBIs and seven runs

Top of order catalyst in offensive eruption

KANSAS CITY -- Whatever happened to the Red Sox's offense this weekend, the fans in Boston certainly have to be happy.

Boston -- which was last in the league in runs scored and RBIs in May -- scored 23 runs in three games in Kansas City, reaching a season high in runs in Sunday's 13-2 rubber-game victory over the Royals.

Center fielder Mookie Betts finished the series 9-for-13 with two home runs, four RBIs and five runs. He fell a single short of hitting for the cycle Sunday.

"I'm not mad about it," said a smiling Betts. "Obviously, having a cycle would be great, but if I hit a double, it's going to be a double, and a triple a triple, or whatever. Just go play the game."

No fewer than six of the nine Boston starters hit in all three games. Hanley Ramirez and David Ortiz also went deep in the finale, swatting solo shots.

Holt's three-hit performance

So really, what did happen to the Red Sox this weekend?

"More than anything, it's just the relaxation in the batter's box by every guy that walks to the plate," manager John Farrell said. "You see a lot of close pitches being taken, we're not expanding the strike zone.

"The ability to build the inning is becoming more evident."

Dustin Pedroia, who returned Saturday after missing three of the previous four games with a knee injury, turned in a strong outing with two doubles, two runs and two RBIs.

Pedroia's RBI double

On Sunday, the top three in the order -- Betts, Brock Holt and Pedroia -- combined for nine hits, including five doubles, two triples and a homer with no strikeouts. They also scored seven runs and drove in six.

"There's certainly consistency with those three guys right now," Farrell said. "There is the ability to put some pressure on the opposing pitcher with the threat of the stolen base. And the three guys are clicking pretty good right now."

Does Farrell plan to stick with those three at the top?

"As much as we can put up seven to 13 runs, we'll just go with it," he said.

Jordan Wilson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.