The first inning tells the tale today:
- Jacoby Ellsbury slapped a flat 89 MPH fastball back up the middle, welcoming Mitch Talbot back from a month-long DL stint with a ringing single.
- Dustin Pedroia put a charge in a 2-2 fastball for his first home run since April 15. 2-0 Sox
- Adrian Gonzalez places a ground ball perfectly, having it squeeze past two infielders for a single.
- David Ortiz smashes the first pitch he sees right back at Talbot and off of his glove. Jack Hannahan's desperation throw pulls Matt LaPorta off the bag, and Papi reaches safely.
- Jed Lowrie grounds into a fielders choice, beating out the double play at first.
- Carl Crawford makes loud contact and lines one to center to score Gonzalez. 3-0 Sox
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia hits a hard ground ball that finds a hole, letting Jed Lowrie come around when Shin-Soo Choo bobbles the ball in right. 4-0 Sox
- Mike Cameron hits a sacrifice fly to score Crawford. 5-0 Sox
- Drew Sutton's pop-fly drops perfectly between the infield and outfield, scoring Salty. 6-0 Sox
- Jacoby Ellsbury picks up his second line drive and second hit of the game.
- Dustin Pedroia gets on top of the ball, but manages to find the hole between second and third to bring Drew Sutton home. 7-0 Sox
By the time Adrian Gonzalez grounded out to end the inning, the game was already over.
Of course, for some individuals, there were still some value to be had in the eight ensuing innings. David Ortiz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia both added home runs. Carl Crawford also went long--one of four hits for the left fielder on the day.
And then there was Jon Lester, who after three mediocre starts returned to top form. He allowed a pair of two-out singles in the first inning, and then just stopped giving up baserunners. He recorded the last out of the first, then picked up three more, and three more, and three more. Eventually, it was the sixth inning and Lester was sitting down his 15th straight batter. He finished the game with six shutout innings, seven strikeouts, three hits, and one walk. Dan Wheeler and Scott Atchison also contributed solid innings while Franklin Morales allowed the only two Cleveland runs of the game.
Seems some of that hubris was warranted after all. Not bad, Red Sox.