Red Sox 15, Rockies 5: Three blasts put Sox in commanding position

Doug Pensinger

The Red Sox put 15 runs up on the Rockies thanks in part to Denver's thin air, leaving them two full games up on the Oakland Athletics.

While the thin air up in Coors Field was John Lackey's undoing Tuesday night, on Wednesday it was the Red Sox who got the better end up the bargain, blowing away the Rockies' pitching staff to the tune of 15 runs, leaving them in commanding position in the race for home field advantage.

If the Sox didn't take advantage of the environment in the first game of the series, it was immediately apparent that this one was going to be a different story. Jacoby Ellsbury christened his return game with a leadoff single on a line drive to right, then moved to second when Shane Victorino dropped down a bunt base hit behind him. David Ortiz would give the Red Sox their first runs of the night when he picked up a hit not too dissimilar to Ellsbury's, and a Jarrod Saltalamacchia single behind him put the Red Sox up 3-0 before Will Middlebrooks finally ended the inning with a ground out.

The next two innings would see Jarrod Saltalamacchia drive in another run, but the Rockies responded with four of their own as Peavy's career-long struggles in Coors Field continued, leaving the game all tied up after three. The fourth, however, would see momentum swing back towards Boston once-and-for-all. With two on and one out, Shane Victorino put on an impressive battle at the plate after falling behind 1-2, then reached out over the plate, hooking a pitch over the heart of the plate. It was not the most convincing-looking swing, but it got the ball up in the air in Coors in a big way, dumping the ball into the left field stands to make it 7-4 Red Sox.

From there, it was all Will Middlebrooks. After starting the game 0-for-2, Middlebrooks welcomed Rob Scahill to the game with a three-run, opposite-field  rocket over the high wall in right. Then, in the eighth, with the bases loaded and one out already in, the third baseman got underneath an already-low curveball and let it ride to left field, past the foul pole for a grand slam. For those of you not counting, that's seven runs driven in nearly matching the rest of the team's eight.

It was a very long night, not the prettiest of games, and the Red Sox probably won't mind being rid of Coors and it's...unique nature. But however they got there, this win combined with Oakland's loss earlier in the day leaves Boston two games up on their nearest American League competition with three games to play. Not too bad at all.

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