The Red Sox trying to fix the 2014 season all starts with Jon Lester (Photo by Kelly O’Connor via

The Boston Red Sox are still a long way away from catching the Toronto Blue Jays in the AL East with a 31-38 record through 69 contests. There are eight teams between them and the second Wild Card spot as well as a 5.5 game difference. Sure, there are still 93 games remaining on the season, but the offense has been way too inconsistent to really rely on it going forward.

If David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia can start to get it going this week, then the Red Sox might be able to dig themselves out of a big time hole for a defending World Series champ. But first the lineup needs to improve as soon as possible.

Players on the mend

After losing players left and right, the Red Sox may be finally starting to return to full strength in the coming weeks.

Clay Buchholz threw his first rehab start and gave up a couple longballs while also striking out five and walking none. The 29-year-old still has no timetable for his return.

Felix Doubront threw his final rehab start and he could be back with the team on the west coast trip by the earliest Friday.

Shane Victorino could also be back this week if he is able to play a couple full games
in Pawtucket without aggravating his hamstring injury.

Will Middlebrooks saw some time at DH on Saturday, but he has another week at third/the outfield before he will be ready to return to the big club. If he can return with a power stroke from the right side, then the Red Sox would be very grateful as the team has not done well with power hitting all season.

Team can’t find that moment

It could’ve been the take-out slide by Mike Napoli on Saturday, but the Red Sox lost 3-2 because of a missed catch error by A.J. Pierzynski. It could’ve been a walkoff for either Jackie Bradley Jr. or Brock Holt on Father’s Day, but neither could drive the winning run home in the ninth.

The Red Sox have yet to have that turning point in 2014 and it looks like it will never come. The moment needs to be one that changes momentum for a struggling offense as well as a morale-boosting moment that carries this team for a stretch to rally and return to above .500 for the first time since early May, but that seems like a tough task for a team that really can’t find any sort of momentum.

If the Red Sox can get it going, then it will have to be the offense that find a spark because the pitching is right around where it was last season.

Going forward

The Red Sox have three games at home against the Minnesota Twins before heading out west for a four-game set against the AL-leading Oakland Athletics. The Red Sox lost two of three to the Twins at Target Field earlier this season, but stole two of three from the Athletics at Fenway Park. The team has two starts from Jon Lester this week and it all starts with him if the Red Sox want to right the ship.

Prediction: 5-2; the Red Sox might have a tough time scoring runs against the pitchingstaff of the Athletics, but it till be the series against the Twins that gets the season turning in the right direction.