The Boston Red Sox carried their momentum across the border.
The Red Sox opened their four-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre with an impressive 14-1 win. It was Boston’s best offensive effort of the season and a perfect way for the Sox to begin a crucial stretch of 13 consecutive games against American League East opponents.
The Red Sox have won eight of their last nine games. Let’s go over Monday’s blowout victory.
– Boston’s huge offensive outburst overshadowed an outstanding performance by John Lackey.
Lackey was extremely efficient, requiring just 76 pitches to complete seven innings of one-run ball. The right-hander allowed only two hits, struck out three and didn’t issue a single walk.
“The way they were swinging the bats, I was trying to get some quick outs and try to get those guys back in there and keep swinging the bats, kind of keep them in a rhythm,” Lackey said.
– The Red Sox reached season highs in runs (14), hits (18) and home runs (four).
Dustin Pedroia was the only member of the Red Sox’s starting lineup without a hit. He sat out the final four innings, as manager John Farrell opted to give his hard-working second baseman some much-needed rest with the game well in hand.
Pedroia and Christian Vazquez were the only starters without at least two hits, in fact. Xander Bogaerts, Daniel Nava and Mike Napoli led the way with three knocks apiece.
David Ortiz hit two homers. Napoli and Stephen Drew each hit a dinger.
– The Red Sox have scored 83 runs in 16 games this month, good for 5.2 runs per contest. Boston had 84 runs in 28 games in June, which equated to three runs per contest.
– Napoli fell a triple shy of the cycle. The first baseman said after the game he was aware all he needed was a triple to accomplish the feat but didn’t expect to collect one given his speed — or lack thereof.
– Ortiz tied and passed Hall of Famer/Red Sox legend Carl Yastrzemski on Major League Baseball’s all-time home runs list with his two homers. Ortiz now stands alone in 36th place with 453 career homers.
“I’m bigger than him,” Ortiz said before pausing and laughing. “Just kidding.”
– Bogaerts’ three hits tied a career high. He also homered last Friday in the Red Sox’s first game after the All-Star break, so perhaps things are turning around for the 21-year-old after a dreadful end to the first half.
– Drew continues to come on strong offensively. The shortstop is hitting .412 (7-for-17) over his last five games. He owns a .500 on-base percentage over his last seven starts, as he has collected at least one walk in each.
– Brock Holt did Brock Holt things.
Holt had two hits, an RBI and two runs scored atop the order. He also played two positions — right field and second base — while providing his usual spark.
Holt made a sensational grab in the fifth inning. He heaved his body into the wall to make the catch despite Boston leading by 13 runs.
– Felix Doubront pitched for the first time since July 7. He needed just seven pitches to toss a scoreless eighth inning, during which he struck out two.
In other words, Doubront threw seven strikes.
– Jake Peavy will pitch Tuesday. The Red Sox have scored 14 runs total in the last seven games Peavy has started. Surely, he hopes the offense saved some energy for his first post-All-Star break start.