Red Sox offense in rare Fenway funk

Red Sox offense in rare Fenway funk

BOSTON -- The offense has carried the Red Sox on most homestands this season. That's what makes the current one so surprising.

After a 3-1 loss to the White Sox on Tuesday, Boston is 3-5 with two games left before embarking on a six-game road trip. Lack of firepower has been the biggest issue.

In particular, hits with runners in scoring position have become elusive for manager John Farrell's team.

They were 0-for-7 in that category on Tuesday, and 10-for-69 over the last nine games.

"Frankly, we're in a little bit of a dry spell right now," said Farrell. "We get a big opportunity in the third, bases loaded and can't cash in. We had a couple of other times with some men in scoring position. Where we've been so good for quite a bit of this season, of late, that's been a struggle with men in scoring position."

With David Ortiz getting a night to rest his 40-year-old body, Hanley Ramirez moved to the cleanup spot. That didn't go well, as the first baseman went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and hasn't hit for much production (five homers, 39 RBIs, .710 OPS) this season.

Ramirez strands the bases loaded

In the third, with the bases loaded and two outs, Ramirez swung through Chris Sale's 83-mph slider for strike three.

"I just keep missing my pitches," said Ramirez. "First pitch of the game, he threw me a fastball right down the middle and I missed it, too. You cannot miss pitches right in the middle of the plate. Can't happen."

The next, best opportunity for Boston came in the eighth, after they no longer had to deal with Sale. With two on and two outs, Ramirez was frozen on an 89-mph slider by righty Nate Jones.

"In the eighth, I was taking the first pitch and I missed my pitch," Ramirez said. "I missed my second pitch, breaking ball right down the middle. Every time you miss your pitch you're supposed to strike out, because you live by the mistakes the pitchers make. He made a mistake right there and I missed it."

Though the Red Sox clearly need more offense from Ramirez, the lack of production has been spread around. The Red Sox have scored just 3.1 runs per game on the homestand.

With so many talented hitters in the lineup, Boston's current drought is likely just something just about every team will go through at some point.

"Yeah, you're going to go through ruts throughout the season," said Travis Shaw. "You can't score seven, eight every single time. It's only been a few games."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.