BOSTON The Red Sox offense busted out on the Marlins for a season-high 15 runs and 16 hits two shy of their season high as every member of the starting lineup (except Nick Punto) had at least one hit in the 15-5 win over the Marlins at Fenway Park Wednesday night.The attack included the rare home run cycle, capped by David Ortizs 11th career grand slam.Mike Aviles started the home run barrage with a three-run shot in the second, his ninth of the season and first since May 21. Ortiz followed that with his fourth-inning slam. Two batters later Jarrod Saltalamacchias solo shot landed in the center field seats. Will Middlebrooks who entered to pinch-run for Kevin Youkilis in the seventh completed the feat with a two-run shot in the eighth.The weather warmed up, guys felt loose, said manager Bobby Valentine. Mikes first home run giving us three runs was huge. Davids grand slam. Salty was the furthest and Middlebrooks was impressive. The offense evolved around hustle plays. Salty being safe at second on Youks grounder up the middle allowing Mike to hit that three-run homer. Mike beating out an infield hit and Ryan Kalish beating out an infield hit added to the speed.The blast was Ortizs 18th homer of the season, third in as many games, and the 396th of his career. It was his first slam since July 27, 2011 against the Royals, and 10th with the Sox, passing Rico Petrocelli for sole possession of second place behind Ted Williams 17. Im just taking what they give me, Ortiz said. Im just trying not to waste the pitch that I see. I sit down and watch the game, see how they pitch. I dont get that many opportunities over the plate so Im just trying to be patient and get the one pitch they give me to hit.Ortiz was intentionally walked in his previous at-bat to load the bases, but Cody Ross foiled Marlins manager Ozzie Guillens strategy by doubling off the wall in left field to clear the bases.Hes the guy, Valentine said of Ortiz. Obviously if we were in first place, hed be the guy everybody would be talking about because hes been consistently excellent the entire season. Its hard to be excellent and its hard to have a consistency about you in 60-plus games. But day in and day out hes brought it. His speed was a little factor scoring from first on Codys base-clearing double."Daniel Nava led the Sox in the hit column, going 4-for-5.This offense is pretty much, everyone knows that we have a pretty good offense and we scuffled for a little bit but it seems that everythings going back to the way weve been and everythings clicking, and were just getting everything in the same wavelength, Aviles said. And I think its helping.His home run, No. 9 this season for him, came with two outs on his first pitch of the game from Marlins right-hander Ricky Nolasco.Its nice because you dont have to run around. You just have to jog. Thats the good thing about it, Aviles joked, referring to the 96-degree temps at first pitch. But any time you hit a homer and put some runs on the board it always helps out.The win moves the Sox two games over .500, at 35-33. They also improve to 16-19 at home, where they have struggled this season.Yeah, absolutely, Aviles said, when asked if the team is feeling more comfortable at home. You just look at the results and we're starting to get everything clicking on the same page. I think thats the biggest key is just getting our pitching, defense, and hitting all together. I think weve had two out of three, whatever the combination may be, but it just hasnt been all in one shot. And I think when we have everything going together, were a pretty good team.
Former major leaguer Andy Marte, a one-time top prospect in the Red Sox organization, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 33.
Marte was killed the same day that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Ventura was 25. Coincidentally, Ventura was the Royals starting pitcher in Marte's final major league game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.
Marte, drafted by the Braves in 2000, was ranked the No. 9 prospect in baseball in 2005 when the third baseman was traded to the Red Sox as part of the deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta and Marte became the top-ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization.
Sad to learn of Andy Marte's death this morning. He was a genuine person who always greeted you with a warm smile.— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) January 22, 2017
Marte was traded by the Red Sox to the Indians in 2006 in the deal that sent Coco Crisp to Boston and spent five seasons with Cleveland. His best season was 2009 (.232, six home runs, 25 RBI in 47 games). After a six-game stint with Arizona in 2014, he played in South Korea the past two years.
Metropolitan traffic authorities in the Dominican told the Associated Press that Marte died when a car he was driving his a house along the highway between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.
Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports. Ventura was 25 years old.
Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo told the Associated Press that Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it's not clear if Ventura was driving.
Ventura was killed the same day former major leaguer Andy Marte died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Coincidentally, Ventura was the starting pitcher in Marte's final MLB game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.
Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners.
Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014.
Ventura is the second current major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.