The Red Sox have won four games in a row. They are now 12-9 on this young season and closing in the top spot in the American League East.

So are they the real deal or is this a mirage?

Since losing to the Rays at home on back on April 21, the Red Sox have reeled off five wins in their last six games. But let’s not get too excited. Those wins have come against the Houston Astros and the Atlanta Braves, who are a combined 11-32 on the season.

But that’s not the Red Sox fault. You can only play the teams on your schedule and it’s good to see them take advantage of the bad teams.

There are some bright signs so far. The Red Sox offense has been consistent and solid. They lead the American League with 111 runs, — 16 more than the second place Texas Rangers. They also lead the AL in batting average, OBP, and OPS.

Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, and Travis Shaw have been beasts at the plate. After slow starts, the new Gold Dust Twins — Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts — have hit the ball well. This is an offense that should be able to score runs all season long.

Which brings us to the pitching. It has settled down after a bad start to open the season. How much of that has to do with their own improvement or the level of competition is anyone’s guess. David Price and Rick Porcello have been a good one-two punch as they are a combined 7-0. Steven Wright has proved he belongs in this rotation as he has a 1.37 era in four starts. Clay Buchholz has been a huge disappointment with an 0-2 record and a 6.33 era. The Red Sox need Eduardo Rodriguez to get back into the rotation and pitch well.

This team will go only as far as their starting pitchers will take them and so far the jury is still out on them.

The junior varsity portion of their schedule ends after tonight’s game with the Braves. Boston has six games against the Yankees, three with the White Sox, and three with the defending champion Royals in the next three weeks.

We’ll know more then if the Red Sox are pretenders or contenders.

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