SAN FRANCISCO -- After a tough walk-off loss Tuesday night, the Red Sox needed a win Wednesday. What they got was a laugher.
The Sox built a 5-1 lead after three innings and continued to pile on until they emerged with a 12-1 rout of the San Francisco
It gave the Red Sox (75-54) a series victory for the first time since they took two of three from hapless Houston two weeks ago. The Sox had gone on to lose series to Kansas City, Toronto and New York since their last series victory.
It also moved them a game ahead of the second-place Tampa Bay Rays (72-53) in the AL East race after Tampa Bay lost in Baltimore later Wednesday.
The Sox pounded out a dozen hits, with homers from Stephen Drew (three-run shot in the seventh), Will Middlebrooks (two-run in the second) and two-run singles from Jonny Gomes and Jarrod Saltalamacchia to account for most of the scoring.
Every position player in the starting lineup except David Ortiz collected at least one hit as the Red Sox improved to 11-4 in
interleague play this season.
Felix Doubront pitched eight innings and allowed only one run on five hits. The lone run off him came on a homer by Joaquin
Arias in the second.
After the second, the Giants got just two hits off Doubront -- and neither left the infield.
STAR OF THE GAME: Felix Doubront
Doubront was coming off two of his worst starts of the season, but turned things around with eight innings of one-run ball. After Doubront allowed the only run of the game off him in the second, he allowed just three more runners from the third through the eighth -- two on infield hits.
HONORABLE MENTION: Dustin Pedroia
Pedroia contributed with two hits -- both doubles -- and also managed to score two runs and knock in another. The two doubles nearly matched his output of two-base hits since the All-Star break -- until Wednesday, he had hit just three.
GOAT OF THE GAME: Barry Zito
Zito was the choice to replace the injured Chad Gaudin as the A's starter, but put his team in an early hole. The Sox scored twice in the second, three more times in the third and once in the fourth to grab a 6-1 lead.
TURNING POINT: The Giants seemed on the verge of getting out of the fourth without allowing a run, but first baseman Brandon Belt, right fielder Hunter Pence and second baseman Marco Scutaro allowed Shane Victorino's fly ball to drop for a run-scoring double and the rout was on.
BY THE NUMBERS: The Red Sox got eight hits from their top three hitters in the lineup -- and seven RBI combined from the sixth, seventh and eighth spots.
QUOTE OF NOTE: "That was out of nowhere, I wasn't expecting it. I had just grounded out and [John Farrell] gave me [hand gesture with two fingers]. I didn't know what he was talking about.'' - Will Middlebrooks on his major league debut at second base.