BOSTON -- The Red Sox rolled over the Cleveland Indians 12-1 on Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park. But the opening inning set the tone, as Boston scored four runs -- all with two outs -- in the bottom of the first.
"When you score four runs with two outs and nobody on in the first inning, which is started off by a walk and a patient at-bat from your third-place hitter, things are going your way," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine after the game.
Credit David Ortiz for getting the two-out walk to start the big inning. But also credit rookie Will Middlebrooks for once again producing in a big spot.
With two on and two outs in the first, Middlebrooks felt no pressure, and ripped a liner to left field, scoring Ortiz from third to give the Red Sox a 1-0 lead.
"Will's liner was exactly what the doctor ordered," said Valentine after the win.
Middlebrooks finished the game 2-for-3 and hit his fourth home run of the season in the third inning. It was a solo shot into the monster seats that gave Boston a 5-1 lead, giving him nine extra-base hits in his first 10 Major-League games.
Only Sam Horn (five home runs in 1987) and Billy Conigliaro (four home runs in 1969) are the only other Red Sox players who have hit at least four home runs through only 10 Major-League games. Middlebrooks' 13 RBI are the most by a Red Sox player in his first 10 games since 1918.
After Daniel Nava drove in Boston's second run of the game with a two-out double in the first inning, catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia ripped a liner to right field, scoring two more runs and giving the Red Sox an early 4-0 lead.
Saltalamacchia finished the day 3-for-4 with a team-high five RBI, after smashing a two-run home run to deep center field in the bottom of the seventh, which put the Red Sox up 12-1.
"Salty's been, not only kind of taking charge the last few days with the pitching, but he's swinging the bat well," said Valentine afterwards.
The five RBI marked the second-most RBI in his career.