Pablo Sandoval’s 2016 was the nadir of his career: The Red Sox third baseman played in three games, reached base once in seven plate appearances, and went to the season-ending DL after a shoulder surgery, although he was visibly overweight by his standards and once broke his belt while taking a cut. His 2017 has already been an improvement.

Sandoval earned his first RBI in Boston’s season opener Monday, and today, he bashed a three-run homer off Tigers reliever Francisco Rodriguez, giving the Red Sox a 5-4 lead. (Detroit won, 6-5.)

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Sandoval seems healthy and in playing shape. The dark uniform helps, too.