The Red Sox' pitching was wild, inefficient, and on the whole awful for the first six innings of the game. It was also enough to get the job done thanks to a big night by the David Ortiz-led offense, which carried the team to a 12-5 victory.
The offense got started in a hurry against Scott Diamond, who had held the Sox to just three hits in seven innings earlier in the year. Jacoby Ellsbury started the attack by lining a 1-1 fastball back up the middle for a base hit. After Jonny Gomes popped out, Diamond would set the tone for the night by first walking Dustin Pedroia, then hanging a curveball to David Ortiz, who jacked it over the tall wall in right-center for a three-run homer.
A ground ball single was the Twins' only response in the bottom half of the inning, which may have given the impression that Ryan Dempster was going to make this a one-sided game. Not so. The typically solid veteran would be anything but Saturday night, while the Twins would only score the one run in the bottom of the third, three walks and a single meant the Twins threatened much more, with Joe Mauer whiffing to leave the bases loaded.
The Red Sox would get the lead right back to three runs in the top of the third, with David Ortiz knocking in his fourth run of the night with a line drive to right field. Getting out of the second proved no cure for Dempster, however, who gave up a double and two walks before again escaping a bases loaded situation in the third before surrendering a two-out double and single to make it 4-2.
In the fifth, the Sox seemed to have put the game away. Doubles from Jonny Gomes and Dustin Pedroia led into a Mike Napoli walk, Daniel Nava sacrifice fly, and singles from Will Middlebrooks and Ryan Lavrnway to score three more runs, putting the Sox up 7-2.
That was not the end of the story, however. Dempster continued to struggle in the bottom of the fifth, giving up a leadoff double to Ryan Doumit, who would score on a Trevor Plouffe ground out. While said out would give Dempster two in the inning, Dempster would walk Aaron Hicks, bringing his pitch count into dangerous territory. John Farrell did not stir, however, until after Pedro Florimon singled Hicks home, and even then, doing his best Grady Little impression, Farrell left his beleaguered starter in the game with 120 pitches on his arm to give up another RBI single, this time to Jamey Carroll. Finally, with the Red Sox up by just two runs, Farrell turned to his bullpen.
It would take a bit for the Sox to find some consistent pitching even from their pen, with Clayton Mortensen recording two shaky outs while allowing three baserunners. Craig Breslow would finally prove capable of getting outs, however, though not without the help of Dustin Pedroia, who made an over-the-shoulder catch on a pop-up in the sixth then fired home, where a catcher-on-catcher collision saw Ryan Lavarnway come out on top, making Ryan Doumit the third out at the plate.
The big double play would bring the Sox to the top of the seventh, where they truly did put the game away. And who else but David Ortiz provided the first volley, bringing Dustin Pedroia home with his second homer of the night, hit to the same spot as his first. Mike Napoli would walk before Casey Fien came in to replace Anthony Swarzak, but he proved no more effective, giving up a two-run shot to Daniel Nava, quickly making it 11-5.
From there, it was just a matter of mop-up. Breslow got the Red Sox through the bottom of the seventh, then handed the ball off to Alex Wilson, who took them the rest of the way. The Sox would tack on another run, with none other than David Ortiz scoring again on a sacrifice fly in the ninth, but by then it was just for bragging rights. The fourth straight win was well-and-truly sealed.
Read more Red Sox:
- Daniel Bard walks five, sinks further, Juan Nieves concerned
- Keith Law’s mock draft says Ryne Stanek to the Red Sox
- Jonathan Papelbon: Should’ve kept?
- Ben Cherington’s Closer-trade addiction
- What would a Red Sox trade for David Price look like?