In case you hadn't noticed, Bobby Dalbec is on fire

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You're somewhat excused if the Bobby Dalbec metamorphosis had slipped by.

At the time July turned into August -- with the Red Sox already living life in the midst of their worst slump of the season while weathering the trade deadline shock-and-awe from the rest of the American League East -- Dalbec represented part of the discomfort.

It had been four months of too many swings and misses, and far too few walks and times on base, with the first baseman's major-league existence hanging on by a thread.

But in the shadow of the Red Sox roster- building and Chris Sale's return, a new-and-improved player has arrived at just the right time.

Dalbec has become the weapon the Red Sox have been waiting for.

After collecting two more hits -- including a pair of home runs -- Dalbec is now 11-for-22 with six extra-base hits and 12 RBI in his last eight games. He has 11 RBI in his last three games, an accomplishment managed just twice by Red Sox players (Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr.) in the past two seasons.

Perhaps most encouraging is the fact that Dalbec has been able to hit those three home runs in the last two days against right-handed pitching, a feat he hadn't previously accomplished since June 19.

How important is Dalbec? Well, when he manages two or more hits the Red Sox' record is 18-4. And when he homers it's 11-2. You get the picture.

“We’ve been just working. Working hard," said Red Sox manager Alex Cora after his team's 16-2 win over Baltimore Saturday, with the Sox now owning the fourth-best OPS of any MLB team in August. "There were some frustrating times and some good things that happened, but I think they’ve gone a good job so far kind of like staying in the moment. Obviously, we knew what was about to happen over the weekend, and we know what’s about to happen in the upcoming days.

"We’re going to keep getting better. We just have to stay patient and keep grinding. It’s 162. We know where we’re at in the standings, but we feel good about our team. I said all along, after 0-3 I felt good. After 9-3, I felt good. After losing I don’t know how many games, I felt good. And today I feel good, also. This is a good baseball team that really cares. They grind and they know who they are, and we’re going to keep going. We’ll see where it takes us. We have our goals, and it’s to win the division, and we’re going to keep working towards it.”