Xander Bogaerts admits the struggling Red Sox offense misses David Ortiz

The Boston Red Sox have a problem: They can’t score.

In their past five losses – including back-to-back setbacks at Fenway Park to the New York Yankees – the Red Sox have scored two runs or fewer. They’ve been shut out three times in their past seven games, and they rank 24th in the majors in runs per game (3.71).

This comes just a season after Boston led the majors in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and runs scored. So what’s missing? Well, the more accurate question is who’s missing.

Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts addressed the elephant in the room after Thursday’s 3-0 loss to the Yankees.

“What’s the difference? I mean, David [Ortiz] is not here,” Bogaerts said, via CBS Boston. “He was definitely a huge part of our team for the years I was here. We definitely miss him.”

Ortiz retired after the 2016 season, when he led the majors with a .620 slugging percentage and 1.021 OPS, and led the AL with 127 RBI – to go along with 38 homers. Through the first four weeks of this season, the Red Sox’s 11 homers rank last in the majors.

“We’ve got to do it without him. We’re trying. We’re trying to put up good at-bats and get guys on base. Having that 34 in the lineup was something opposing pitchers were definitely afraid of,” Bogaerts added. “We miss him but we’re going to get runs. We’re going to score. We’re not going to get shut out, or get one run every game. Our offense probably needs one game — 12 runs, 15 runs –like the Washington Nationals. Hopefully we can do the same as that. We’ll break loose.”

It won’t get any easier for the Red Sox with the Cubs in town this weekend.