HOUSTON – In his first season with the Red Sox, Jonny Gomes has put his name in the record books. Pinch-hitting for Mike Carp in the sixth inning of Tuesday’s 15-10 win over the Astros, Gomes hit a three-run home run, giving the Sox a five-run lead.
It was his fourth pinch-hit home run of the season. Del Wilber, with four pinch-hit home runs in 1953, and Joe Cronin, with five in 1943, are the only other Sox batters with as many in a season.
Gomes, a fan of baseball history, can appreciate the feat.
“Yeah, any time you have an opportunity to share the record books, and share history with someone it’s pretty special, especially when it’s on a positive side, the statistics,” he said. “But, yeah, that’s pretty cool. But the season’s not over. I might get another one.”
It also marked the Sox sixth pinch-hit home run of the season, second-most in team history to the seven pinch-hit home runs by the 1953 team.
Gomes has now reached base in 12 of 22 plate appearances as pinch-hitter this season. Asked if there’s a specific mentality to being a successful pinch-hitter Gomes replied:
“Yeah, I imagine. I don’t think I know it, to tell you the truth. You break it down, it’s just 20 at-bats. So I don’t know. If I figure it out, I’ll try and get back to you.”
David Ortiz went 4-for-4, with two runs scored, two RBI, and a walk. He tied a career high with four hits for the 20th time and third time this season, along with July 9 at Seattle and July 28 at Baltimore. He is hitting .591, going 13-for-22 with two doubles, two home runs, and 10 RBI in six games against the Astros this season. He has reached base safely in a season-high 20 straight games.
Of the mood in the dugout while the Sox were down 5-0 after two innings, Ortiz said:
“We try not to give up until the game is over. Things got kind of crazy at the beginning, but we kept on playing through it…. This past week, we’ve had three or four wins from behind. That tells you that this is a team where it doesn’t matter the situation at the beginning -- we’re going to fight through it, come back and make things happen in the end.”
This game marked the 12th time this season the Sox have scored 10 or more runs. The 15 runs scored were their second-highest total of the season.
The Sox scored five runs in both the fifth and sixth innings, batting around in each. According to Elias, the Sox had not scored five or more runs in consecutive innings since Sept. 10, 2005, at Seattle in the sixth and seventh innings.
Despite being staked to a 5-0 lead, right-hander Jordan Lyles took the loss for the Astros. He went 4 2/3 innings, giving up eight runs on nine hits and three walks, with a strikeout, a hit batter, a wild pitch, and a home run.
“It’s tough,” he said. “My bad outings have been bad, real bad. I’m just trying to stay away from them. The offense came out tonight and put up some big numbers, and I just let it go. I made the bullpen throw a lot of innings. It’s just a tough game to watch for a lot of people. I didn’t do my part tonight. When I have those bad outings, I have to limit teams to three or four runs. I let the game get out of hand.”