Going into the game tonight, the Red Sox' lineup spoke of surrender. Ryan Kalish, Lars Anderson, and Yamaico Navarro were batting 7th, 8th, and 9th respective while Daniel Nava was in the leadoff spot.
Well, Navarro could only manage a sacrifice fly, and Lars Anderson certainly looked overmatched in his Major League debut.
But Daniel Nava got on base three times, and Kalish...Well, Kalish walked, he singled, and he took a 3-1 Andy Sonnanstine fastball and deposited in the bleacher seats. With the bases loaded.
It was Kalish' second career grand slam in under 100 at bats, and while it was perhaps the loudest hit of the night, the fact is that the game was already all-but-over by that point.
After Jon Lester ran into some more first inning trouble, allowing Tampa to get on the board first with a run, Boston came out shooting in the bottom of the inning. With two outs, Victor Martinez drew a walk, setting up David Ortiz for the first homer of the night, curling around Pesky's Pole. Three pitches later, and Adrian Beltre swatted the second into the monster seats.
The Sox didn't let up at all in the second, either. A parade of, again, two out baserunners resulted in three runs thanks to a Victor Martinez single and David Ortiz double. Ortiz would add two walks in a very successful night. Jeff Niemann fled the game with just five outs recorded, and six runs allowed.
After allowing runs in the first and third innings, Lester settled down, and actually ended up with a pretty nice line for the night, including his third straight game with ten strikeouts. Lester was pulled with just 95 pitches thrown through the first six innings, giving Terry Francona a chance to get a look at some of the young guys and call-ups. What he saw was not pretty.
Out came Robert Coello, the most recent call-up from Triple-A Pawtucket, and an alumnus of the same independent league of Daniel Nava. And with him came baserunners. The Rays surrounded a flyout with a trio of singles, loading the bases. What followed was almost as funny as it was sad.
After fighting Brad Hawpe to a full count, Coello gave up a bases loaded walk on the seventh pitch of the at bat. Four pitches later, and he walked in hitless rookie Desmond Jennings. In came Dustin Richardson, and in walked another run. Finally, Tito called on Scott Atchison, who recorded five mercifully quiet outs. Hideki Okajima followed it up with a quiet ninth, giving the Red Sox the 12-5 win.
No matter how "out" of it you think the Sox are, it's always nice to beat up on a rival. All the better when it's the kids getting the job done. Here's to another rout of Tampa tomorrow.