By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen
BOSTON It was exactly what the Red Sox desperately needed: A decisive win over a bad team to give them just their fifth win of the month, splitting Mondays doubleheader.
In shellacking the Orioles, 18-9, in the nightcap at Fenway Park, the Sox banged out 20 hits, tying their season high in runs and hits, including three home runs.
And we kind of needed it, said manager Terry Francona. We stayed after them and got some big hits. Conor Jackson hit a grand slam, and we just had a lot of good at-bats. We had good at-bats the first game, just kept going in the second game.
Os starter Brian Matusz lasted just 1 23 innings, giving up six runs on six hits with two walks, no strikeouts and a home run.
Dustin Pedroia, Jed Lowrie and Conor Jackson each drove in four runs for the Sox, the fifth time since 1919 that they've gotten four or more RBI from three or more players in the same game. They last did it Aug. 21, 1986 in Cleveland, when Marty Barrett and Dwight Evans had four and Tony Armas.
Jacksons grand slam, the second of his career and third for the Sox this season, capped a seven-run seventh inning.
Jacoby Ellsbury went 3-for-6, including his first career inside-the-park home run leading off the seventh. It was the Sox first inside-the-park homer since Kevin Youkilis on May 28, 2007, against the Indians at Fenway. Jacobys drive caromed off the side wall of the Sox bullpen, ricocheting in center field.
When the ball caroms away like that, everybody sees the inside-the-park homer coming. Yeah, it was exciting, Francona said.
When I hit it, I was hoping it was going to get out, Ellsbury said of his 28th homer of the season. And once I saw it hit the wall I saw it carom and I thought I had a pretty good shot at getting an inside-the-park home run and I saw third base coach Tim Bogar waving me. I knew it could happen.
Its tiring. Id rather it just went over the fence but it was exciting. It was my first one and it was fun.
Lowrie had a three-run homer in the first, his first home run since Aug. 12 in Seattle, snapping an 89-at-bat homerless streak and a 0-for-16 skid.
The 18 runs match a season-high for the Sox, which they set against the Blue Jays on Sept. 13, the first game of this homestand. It was the third time this season the Sox had 20 hits, the first since Sept. 6 in Toronto.
The Sox have recorded 10 or more runs in four of their five wins this month, with a total of 66 runs. (In their 14 losses, though, they have scored just 41 runs.)
In their seven games against the Os this season at Fenway, and in 11 of 13 games overall, the Sox have double-digit hits. The Sox are batting .335 (160-for-477) against the Os this season, averaging 7.31 runs per game.
The Sox batted around twice, in the third inning, scoring five runs, and in the seventh, adding seven more runs. With two outs in the third, six consecutive batters recorded a hit, the Sox most since six straight batters got a hit in the fifth inning on May 20, 2009, against the Blue Jays.
Each of the Sox first six batters in the lineup had multiple hits, while the first four each had three.
All hitting aside, just getting the win was the most important thing.
It was a nice win, Ellsbury said. To put up that many runs on a long day like this says a lot about our team and we got a lot of contributions from a lot of different guys. Yeah its a nice win. We control our destiny at this point so we know if we play baseball like we can well be in good shape.
We need to win. We need to win every game we possibly can, Pedroia said. Thats basically it.
We swung the bats great. Got to continue to keep it going. Tomorrow were going to come out and play hard and hopefully we swing the bats just like we did tonight.
Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen.