Notes: Red Sox get team effort offensively

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Notes: Red Sox get team effort offensively

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com Follow @JCameratoNBA
BOSTON --It's no secret the Boston Red Sox can hit. They entered Sunday's game against the Milwaukee Brewers with the top batting average in baseball, and boasted a roster with some of the league's hottest offensive players.

And even with Carl Crawford on the 15-day disabled list (hamstring), the Red Sox didnt miss a beat in their 12-3 victory over the Brewers.

They set the tone early with a six-run first inning in which the first six batters reached and scored. After Jacoby Ellsbury scored early, Kevin Youkilis hit a three-run home run and Ellsbury added a two-run double in the inning.

A very good inning, said Terry Francona. That doesnt happen very often. But Youk got the big hit and then we kept going, which was good.

All nine starters recorded hits and eight were for extra bases (including home runs by Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, and Marco Scutaro).

We can swing the bat, said Jarrod Saltalamacchia. We're feeling good at the plate, one through nine is feeling good, and we were able to put some runs on the board early and just keep going with it.

The Red Sox took the series, 2-1, against the Brewers for their fifth consecutive series victory since June 3 . (They began the stretch against the Oakland Athletics.) They have outscored their opponents 114-53 and are 13-2 in that span.

Prior to the game Francona said he would like to see J.D. Drew, who entered the game batting .225, get into an offensive groove.

J.D. hasnt caught fire yet, thats just being honest. But he always seems to have that ability to have that one big spurt, Francona said. I know its there, so rather than run away from him -- and I know weve sat him against a lot of lefties -- but I would love for him to get hot because I know its in there and I really want to give him a chance to do that.

Drew made a step in the right direction on Sunday, going 2-for-5 and scoring a run. It was his third multihit game of the month.

He swung the bat very well today, said Francona. Hit some balls at people but he hit some balls right on the nose. That was really good to see.

David Ortiz (1-for-3) extended his home hitting streak to 13 games. He is batting .490 (25-for-51) during the stretch, which began on May 19.

Pedroias fourth inning home run marked his 60th of his career and 30th at Fenway Park.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.com!JCamerato

Red Sox celebration quickly washes away walk-off loss

Red Sox celebration quickly washes away walk-off loss

NEW YORK -- It had the potential to be the most awkward celebration ever.

In the top of the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium, before their game was complete, the Red Sox became American League East champions, by virtue of one other division rival -- Baltimore -- coming back to beat another -- Toronto -- in the ninth inning.

That eliminated the Blue Jays from the division race, and made the Sox division champs.

But that ninth inning reversal of fortune was about to visit the Red Sox, too.

Craig Kimbrel faced four hitters and allowed a single and three straight walks, leading to a run. When, after 28 pitches, he couldn't get an out, he was lifted for Joe Kelly, who recorded one out, then yielded a walk-off grand slam to Mark Teixeira.

The Yankees celebrated wildly on the field, while the Red Sox trudged into the dugout, beset with mixed emotions.

Yes, they had just lost a game that seemed theirs. But they also had accomplished something that had taken 158 games.

What to do?

The Sox decided to drown their temporary sorrows in champagne.

"As soon as we got in here,'' said Jackie Bradley Jr., "we quickly got over it.''

From the top of the eighth until the start of the bottom of the ninth, the Red Sox seemed headed in a conventional celebration.

A two-run, bases-loaded double by Mookie Betts and a wild pitch -- the latter enabling David Ortiz to slide into home and dislodge the ball from former teammate Tommy Layne's glove --- had given the Sox a 3-0 lead.

Koji Uehara worked around a walk to post a scoreless walk and after the top of the ninth, the Sox called on Craig Kimbrel, who had successfully closed out all but two save opportunities all season.

But Kimbrel quickly allowed a leadoff single to Brett Gardner and then began pitching as though he forgot how to throw strikes. Three straight walks resulted in a run in and the bases loaded.

Joe Kelly got an out, but then Teixeira, for the second time this week, produced a game-winning homer in the ninth. On Monday, he had homered in Toronto to turn a Blue Jays win into a loss, and now, here he was again.

It may have been a rather meaningless victory for the Yankees -- who remain barely alive for the wild card -- but it did prevent them the indignity of watching the Red Sox celebrate on their lawn.

Instead, the Sox wore the shame of the walk-off -- at least until they reached their clubhouse, where the partying began in earnest.

It had taken clubhouse attendants less than five minutes to cover the floor and lockers with plastic protective sheets. In a matter of a few more minutes, the air was filled with a mix of beer and bubbly.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski wore a goggles and only socks on his feet.

As the spray reached every inch of the clubhouse, David Ortiz exclaimed: "I'm going to drown in this man.''

Defeat? What defeat?