Jun 20, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz (34) hits a grand slam against the Miami Marlins during the fourth inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE
Perhaps it's because the Sox haven't been doing it quite as often this season, but there was something about tonight's onslaught that almost separates it in my mind from all the other double-digit performances we've seen in recent years.
It was, somehow, savage.
If I had to guess, the reason lies in how the runs scored. In a lot of these games there's some point where one team just establishes a conga line around the base paths, dropping one here, two there as the walks, singles, and occasional doubles pile up.
Not tonight. Tonight the conga line stopped at third, simply setting up the brutal blows that were to follow. Mike Aviles was first up, taking a chance to tie the game with two men in scoring position and two outs in the second and instead seizing the lead with a blast into the Monster seats. Just like that, from zero runs to three.
In the very next inning it was Cody Ross coming into a bases loaded situation courtesy of an intentional walk to David Ortiz and making the Marlins pay for giving away the free pass, smashing a rocket shot off the wall in left. It didn't leave the park, but between Logan Morrison smashing into the wall trying to make the grab, the ball loudly clanging off the wall and well into left field, and the three runs that scored, it somehow provided much the same impact.
Perhaps no moment contributes more, however, than David Ortiz' grand slam. The Large Father has invoked memories of 2007 with the way he's hitting this year, but he's taken it to another level in these last two games, taking some truly violent hacks at the ball that have resulted in massive homers. This time it was a Chris Hatcher fastball to the wheelhouse that was sent some ten rows into the right field stands.
Add in a Jarrod Saltalamacchia solo shot and Will Middlebrooks two-run bomb in a pinch-hitting appearance (which was, I maintain, the only way the game could have gotten substantially better at that point), and you have yourself an attack as impressive in its volume as in its brutality.
All this is to ignore the excellent job by the men who set up the runs for the likes of Ortiz, of course. Daniel Nava had four hits as his unreal season continues, Kevin Youkilis reached three times as he put on a bit of a show for scouts, and Ryan Kalish was involved in both the Cody Ross double and David Ortiz grand slam.
If there was one blemish on the night, it was Felix Doubront's rough start, but even he managed to pull things together and leave with four earned runs in six innings. It wasn't a good night, but it was much better than it could have been, and shows some of the maturity and composure he's displayed on the mound in limiting damage after unfortunate beginnings.
The Sox are up to fourth in the AL East now, as every other team lost, leaving the Jays at 35-34. Now they'll just need to keep the good times rolling as Daisuke Matsuzaka takes on the struggling Carlos Zambrano Thursday night.