Red Sox 9, Phillies 2: Jacoby Ellsbury paces Sox with record-setting night

USA TODAY Sports

Jacoby Ellsbury set a team record for stolen bases as he paced a big offensive night for the Red Sox.

The Red Sox scored four runs early, then poured five more on as the night continued, coasting past the Phillies to a 9-2 victory.

After being held to just four runs in the last pair of games combined, the Sox were not to be held in check by Jonathan Pettibone. The attack started in familiar fashion for the Red Sox: Jacoby Ellsbury reached base, and Dustin Pedroia knocked him in. This time, though, the Sox were not content with one first-inning run. With Daniel Nava still on second, David Ortiz drew a walk and Mike Carp singled to right to add a second Red Sox run. Jarrod Saltalamacchia followed up with a two-out double, and just like that the Sox were ahead by four.

To be fair to the Phillies, they would make the game a lot closer than the final scoreline suggests. A two-run homer from Delmon Young in the bottom of the first immediately put the pressure back on the Red Sox, and with Franklin Morales showing a fair bit of rust, the lead wouldn't feel safe for the four innings it lingered at just two runs.

With the Sox stranding their fair share of runners in the second, third, and fourth (including Jacoby Ellsbury twice despite a pair of steals from the center fielder), the Phillies' sudden rally in the fourth would prove the most dangerous situation the Sox faced all night. A pair of walks and a single from Dominic Brown loaded the bases with just one out. With Morales missing all over the place, disaster seemed just around the corner. But one swing from Erik Kratz was all it took to give the Red Sox the ground ball they needed, with Dustin Pedroia making a superb off-balance throw to turn the inning-ending double play.

The top of the sixth would finally provide some extra relief, with Jonny Gomes hitting a pinch-hit homer to right field off reliever Jeremy Horst. Jacoby Ellsbury would steal his third and fourth bases of the game, but the lead would stay at 5-2 as Dustin Pedroia's hard-hit ball found Ben Revere in center field for the third out. That would only delay the inevitable, however, as David Ortiz gave the Sox their second homer of the night to make it 6-2.

While the Sox would put up three more runs in the ninth, that seventh-inning homer from Ortiz would be the end of the night's tension. The only event of note in between: Jacoby Ellsbury's team-record fifth stolen base of the game. Craig Breslow, Clayton Mortensen, Junichi Tazawa, and Andrew Bailey closed out the last four innings with little difficulty, and the Red Sox added a game to their AL East lead over the Yankees.

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