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

Red Sox pound Royals behind Ortiz's slam, 12-5
July 28, 2011, 2:29 am
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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.