With each passing victory, Red Sox' confidence grows


BOSTON -- Maybe it was the fact that for just the fifth time in 39 tries, the Red Sox came back and won a game in which they were trailing after six innings. Or maybe it stems from the fact that the Red Sox have won three straight, but also, three straight series and four of the last five.

Whatever the cause, it was clear after Tuesday night's 4-3 victory over the Marlins that the Sox seem to believe.

"Definitely the momentum, the vibe in the clubhouse, everything has changed,'' said Tuesday night's hero, Xander Bogaerts. "It all comes with winning, you know?"

It took better than three months, but finally, the Red Sox are playing the way they expected. They're getting consistent starting pitching and the offense has averaged almost five runs per outing in the last 11 games. And in each of the last two wins, the Red Sox fell behind in the top of the seventh . . . and promptly went ahead in the bottom of the same inning.

They're a long way from where they need to be still. And if they stumble between now and the end of the first half of the season Sunday, they'll have squandered the surge they've made over the last two weeks.

But the sense you get in the clubhouse the last week or so is that things have turned.

"I think everything -- all aspects of the game -- have started to turn,'' said Mookie Betts. "I think this could go for the rest of the year, too."

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