What a difference three games can make.
After the debacle against the Yankees that saw fans openly rejoicing that the final game of the series had been rained out, it looked like things couldn’t get much worse for the Sox. They took their much-needed day off and traveled to Target Field in Minneapolis badly in need of a couple wins against a Twins team off to a poor 5-11 start.
The Sox had not swept a series since last July 22-24 against the Seattle Mariners, but that unfortunate streak has finally come to an end after three impressive wins against Minnesota. Although their record still stands at a lackluster 7-10, the Sox can now take this strong performance and use it as a momentum-builder as they try to salvage the first month of their season.
The offense, in particular, really came alive in this three-game set. They tallied 40 hits, 24 runs and combined for an impressive six home runs over the three games, giving the Sox pitchers plenty of breathing room.
On the other hand, the bullpen held together for the first two games before coming unglued in the finale.
After allowing just three hits and no runs in 5.0 innings over the first two games, this disaster of a relief corps nearly gave the game away to the Twins in the sixth inning on Wednesday. They coughed up four runs in the sixth inning before finally settling down, then Alfredo Aceves loaded the bases in the ninth inning but still managed to escape with a save and a 7-6 victory.
In all, it was a good series for the Sox. They proved Monday that they could come back in dramatic fashion, on Tuesday that they can hold onto a big lead and Wednesday that they could win a close one.
Here are five of the biggest things we learned about this team during the three-game sweep.