Aviles: 'Everything's clicking'


Aviles: 'Everything's clicking'

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.

Chris Sale not concerned about which starter is Red Sox' ace

Chris Sale not concerned about which starter is Red Sox' ace

Trenni sits with Chris Sale and David Price during spring training in Fort Meyers.

Moreland not worried about filling Ortiz's shoes because 'there's no replacing him'

Moreland not worried about filling Ortiz's shoes because 'there's no replacing him'

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Mitch Moreland knows he's likely the only new player in Boston's lineup since David Ortiz retired at the end of last season.

He's just not listening to those who say he needs to replace Big Papi's lofty production.

"I try not to hear it because there's no replacing that guy," said the 31-year-old first baseman, who signed a one-year, $5.5-million deal with the Red Sox during the offseason.

"I think it's going to be more of a team effort," he said. "Obviously we picked up two big arms as well, and it's a very balanced club."

After playing his first six-plus seasons in the majors with the Texas Rangers, Moreland is with a new organization for the first time in his career. So far, he said, the move has been smooth.

"They welcomed me from Day One," he said. "Handshakes and hugs right off the bat. It's going to be a lot of fun. You can see why they had so much success last year."

Coming off a subpar 2016 with a .233 batting average, 22 homers and 60 RBI, Moreland tested free agency. He wanted to go to a team that had a good chance at competing for a championship -- like he felt with the Rangers.

"Something that was at the top of my list as a player," he said. "If I was going to be on a team, I wanted a team that had a chance to win. It makes it that much more fun to come to the park every day when something's on the line and you're fighting for a chance to play in the playoffs, fighting to win the division and fighting to win a World Series."

A first-time Gold Glove winner last season, Moreland knows the defending A.L. East champion Red Sox wanted his defensive skills at first to allow Hanley Ramirez to shift to Ortiz's vacated DH spot.

"It gives you a little more confidence," Moreland said. "I take pride in that. That's going to be my main goal, to go out and show what they saw."

A left-handed batter like Ortiz, Moreland knows some people will expect him to fill the void offensively because of which side of the plate he bats from.

"I think it'll be a group effort picking up what will be missing," he said. "There's no replacing that guy."

Manager John Farrell also said the club needs to move on from Ortiz so Moreland and everyone else can relax and focus on their own game.

"David's effect on the lineup was felt by a number of people. We know opponents would game plan for David," Farrell said. "I think it's important for our guys - as we put David out of our mind, in a good way - that it's still a focus on what their strengths are in the strike zone."

The transition may be easy for Moreland so far, but one thing has certainly changed: spending spring training in Florida instead of Arizona.

"Fishing's a lot different than Arizona, so that's nice," he said.

NOTES: "We're getting a firsthand look to why he's been so successful and an elite pitcher," Farrell said after left-hander Chris Sale pitched batting practice. The Red Sox acquired Sale from the Chicago White Sox in an offseason trade for four prospects. They also acquired right-handed, hard-throwing setup man Tyler Thornburg from Milwaukee . . . Farrell said righty Steven Wright, who missed the final two months of the season with a shoulder injury, "was unrestricted in his throwing." . . . The Red Sox will have a shorter workout Tuesday with the players association set to talk to the team and the organization's annual charity golf tournament in the afternoon.