Red Sox Notes: Alex Wilson Plays Role Of Unsung Hero With Huge Effort

Alex WilsonBOSTON — In an interesting twist, the Red Sox’s offense bailed them out Saturday.

The Red Sox have struggled offensively for much of 2014, but Boston’s bats broke through for 13 hits in a 10-7 win over the Houston Astros at Fenway Park. David Ortiz led the way with a monster performance in which he drilled two home runs and racked up six RBIs.

The Red Sox guaranteed at least a split of their four-games series with the Astros. Joe Kelly will toe the rubber in Sunday’s series finale as Boston looks to take three of four from Houston.

Let’s scope out some notes from Saturday’s action.

– Rubby De La Rosa staggered through his worst start of the season.

De La Rosa allowed six earned runs on nine hits and four walks over four innings. He allowed the leadoff hitter to reach base in all four innings and struck out only two batters.

“It was a struggle for him tonight. He struggled with his command, he struggled with any type of putaway pitch,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said after the game. “He came off an outing (versus the Los Angeles Angels) where his changeup and his slider were both putaway pitches, and that wasn’t the case tonight.”

Saturday’s outing marked the first time in six career starts at Fenway Park that De La Rosa allowed more than three runs.

– The Red Sox’s deficit was as large as four runs. But Boston battled back.

The Red Sox scored four runs in the fifth inning to take a 7-6 lead. Boston batted around in the inning, sending nine men to the plate. It was the second time in this series that the Sox batted around in an inning, as they sent 12 men to the dish in a seven-run sixth inning in Thursday’s opener.

– Ortiz provided a vintage performance. It also was historic.

Ortiz’s first home run was his 400th as a member of the Red Sox. He’s only the third player in franchise history to hit 400 homers with Boston, joining Ted Williams (521) and Carl Yastrzemski (454).

Both of Ortiz’s home runs Saturday were of the two-run variety. He also added a two-run double in the eighth inning. Ortiz’s six RBIs were the most in a game by a Red Sox player this season.

The multi-homer game was Ortiz’s fourth this season and the 45th of his career (43rd with Boston).

– Brock Holt extended his hit streak to 10 games, matching the longest of his career and the longest by a Red Sox player this season.

– Daniel Nava swung the bat very well. He went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.

Nava is hitting .331 (54-for-163) with a .399 on-base percentage since being recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on June 2.

– Dustin Pedroia and Mike Napoli each collected two hits. Napoli also worked a walk and now has reached base in nine of his last 17 plate appearances (five hits, four walks).

– Alex Wilson was tremendous in relief of De La Rosa. He earned a well-deserved win.

Wilson tossed 2 1/3 perfect innings after entering to begin the fifth inning. It was a much-needed effort with Boston trying to battle its way back into the ballgame.

“Gave us a huge lift. Stabilized the game, gave us a chance to have the offense get on track,” Farrel said. “The biggest thing is a zero after we score those runs in that fifth inning. The times that he’s been up here with us, he’s been more of a strike-thrower, there’s later action to his breaking ball and a key two and a third (innings) here tonight.”

– Burke Badenhop also supplied 1 2/3 spotless innings.

Photo via Twitter/@JeffPini

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