Red Sox pound Royals behind Ortiz's slam, 12-5

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Red Sox pound Royals behind Ortiz's slam, 12-5

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
BOSTON It was another night and another punishment of mediocre pitching by the Red Sox offense.

The Sox bats continued their torrid offensive display in the month of July by pounding lefty Bruce Chen and a host of relievers to the tune of 12 runs and 16 hits in a 12-5 thrashing at Fenway Park.

The victory marked the 11th straight game at Fenway Park with the Sox getting 10 or more hits the longest streak of its kind this season.

Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia launched back-to-back solo homers in the first inning to slap Chen around early in the ballgame, and then David Ortiz executed the death blow with his 10th career grand slam in the bottom of the fourth frame.

The big blast gave Ortiz his 10th consecutive season of 20 plus home runs and also represented his 1000th career RBI as a member of the Red Sox a plateau that only five other Sox players have crossed in franchise history.

Chen was rocked for 10 hits and 10 earned runs in four innings of work, and looked every bit the journeyman big leaguer hes become since pitching for Boston way back in the 2003 season.

The slamming Sox needed all the run support with John Lackey not quite at his best on the mound once again. Lackey was, however, gritty enough to get through 5 23 innings and maneuver through 11 hits allowed with only three earned runs when given plenty of run support.

It didnt make anybody believe Lackey can silence a quality lineup once the postseason gets going, but Lackey is still 4-0 with a 2.52 ERA in his last four starts while at least giving his club innings and a chance to win.

The Sox offense was clicking at such high efficiency that spare part players Darnell McDonald and Yamaico Navarro were able to collect two-hit nights along with the usual suspects at the top of the Boston batting attack.

Player of the Game: David Ortiz only went 1-for-4 on the evening, but his one contribution was a moon shot to right field in the fourth inning for his 10th career grand slam. The four RBIs also allowed Big Papi to reach 1,000 in his career with the Red Sox only the sixth player in franchise history to amass 1000 runs batted in while wearing the Red Stockings. Ortiz also now has 20 home runs for the 10th consecutive season in whats become a pretty amazing body of work in Boston considering the production and the clutch work in the postseason.

Honorable Mention: Dustin Pedroia collected three hits and extended his career-best hitting streak to 24 games while also raising his batting average to .308 and he did all of that while also moving back to the No. 2 hole from the clean-up spot that seems to agree with him so much.

The Goat: How is Bruce Chen still in the Major Leagues? He was given a three-run cushion in the top of the first inning and proceeded to choke on it in four innings of batting practice to the Red Sox. Chen gave up 10 hits and 10 runs in the four innings of work and was tagged for three home runs in another piece of evidence that the Red Sox absolutely murder mediocre pitching. Its been a long time since Chens cup of coffee with the Red Sox in 2003, but he certainly hasnt improved with time and age. It boggles the mind that Chen won 12 games for the Royals last season.

Turning Point: A little bad luck and a whole lot of power from Eric Hosmer conspired to put the Sox down by three runs after the top of the first inning, but the Sox answered back immediately in a big statement with their bats. Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia went back-to-back in the bottom of the first to lead things off become the first Sox players to do that leading off a game since Troy OLeary and John Valentin during the 1995 baseball season. From there the offense was off and running.

By the Numbers: 11 the number of consecutive home games that the Red Sox offense has reached double-digit hits, the longest streak of its kind in the Major Leagues this season.

Quote of Note: Ellsbury and Pedroia are making it tougher on everyone else. What theyre doing at the top of the lineup is ridiculous. You dont get that on a daily basis from your first and second-hole hitters. Sox designated hitter David Ortiz on what he thinks is making a difference during Bostons offensive surge in July thats seen them go 18-4 this month.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs.

Pedro Martinez talks about one of the greatest games he's ever pitched

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Pedro Martinez talks about one of the greatest games he's ever pitched

CSN baseball analyst Lou Merloni sits down with Pedro Martinez and Red Sox hitting coach Chili Davis to discuss one of Pedro's greatest games. 

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On September 10, 1999 at the height of the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry, Pedro Martinez struck out 17 Yankees in a complete game victory, with the only hit he allowed being a home run to Chili Davis. The two men recall that memorable night in the Bronx, and discuss the state of pitching in 2017.

MLB players' union agrees to pitchless intentional walks

MLB players' union agrees to pitchless intentional walks

NEW YORK - There won't be any wild pitches on intentional walks this season.

The players' association has agreed to Major League Baseball's proposal to have intentional walks without pitches this year.

"It doesn't seem like that big of a deal. I know they're trying to cut out some of the fat. I'm OK with that," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said.

While the union has resisted many of MLB's proposed innovations, such as raising the bottom of the strike zone, installing pitch clocks and limiting trips to the mound, players are willing to accept the intentional walk change.

"As part of a broader discussion with other moving pieces, the answer is yes," union head Tony Clark wrote Wednesday in an email to The Associated Press. "There are details, as part of that discussion, that are still being worked through, however."

The union's decision was first reported by ESPN .

"I'm OK with it. You signal. I don't think that's a big deal," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "For the most part, it's not changing the strategy, it's just kind of speeding things up. I'm good with it."

There were 932 intentional walks last year, including 600 in the National League, where batters are walked to bring the pitcher's slot to the plate.

"You don't want to get your pitcher out of a rhythm, and when you do the intentional walk, I think you can take a pitcher out of his rhythm," Girardi said. "I've often wondered why you don't bring in your shortstop and the pitcher stand at short. Let the shortstop walk him. They're used to playing catch more like that than a pitcher is."

Agreement with the union is required for playing rules changes unless MLB gives one year advance notice, in which case it can unilaterally make alterations. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred expressed hope Tuesday that ongoing talks would lead to an agreement on other changes but also said clubs would reserve the right to act unilaterally, consistent with the rule-change provision of the sport's labor contract.

Some changes with video review can be made unilaterally, such as shortening the time to make a challenge.

"I know they were thinking about putting in a 30-second (limit) for managers to make a decision," Francona said. "I actually wish they would. I think it would hustle it up and if we can't tell in 30 seconds, maybe we shouldn't be doing it anyway."