Red Sox Live Blog: David Ortiz Grand Slam Highlights 16-Hit Attack as Red Sox Crush Royals 12-5

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Red Sox Live Blog: David Ortiz Grand Slam Highlights 16-Hit Attack as Red Sox Crush Royals 12-5

Final, Red Sox 12-5: What can you say? Another night in which the bats are just relentless leads Boston to its 19th win in 23 games.

John Lackey wasn't his best, but he was good enough to win his fourth straight start, coming within one out of a quality start. It's a bit easier when your offense does what it did.

The poor Royals have to face Josh Beckett on Wednesday afternoon in an effort to pick up a split of the series. First pitch for that one is 1:35 p.m., and we will be here bright and early to get you prepared.

End 8th, Red Sox 12-5: Adrian Gonzalez remains without a home run in 15 straight games and with just one in his last 25 games, but just by a few inches.

Gonzalez drove one to the very top of the Green Monster with one out in the eighth. It may have missed getting out of here by less than a foot.

With Jacoby Ellsbury on base, it was enough to drive in another run. Gonzalez was out at second trying to stretch the hit into a double.

Dan Wheeler will get the last three outs for us.

Mid 8th, Red Sox 11-5: Hits are even at 14 apiece. Runs are not.

Actually, the Royals have had a bunch of players held at third on hard hits to left, one of the quirks of playing in Fenway. If some of those are to right or center, we might be talking about a different game.

Or not.

So bad, so bad, so bad.

9:52 p.m.: A double and a strikeout starts the eighth for KC. It also ends things for Randy Williams. He goes a solid 1 2/3 before giving way to Dan Wheeler.

End 7th, Red Sox 11-4: The Red Sox fail to score in the seventh inning, which is always noteworthy. They average almost a run per game in that inning.

However, the top of the order is due up to start the eighth against some second-rate reliever, so they may just make up for it then.

Mid 7th, Red Sox 11-4: Randy Williams survives a double and a walk in the seventh. And now, finally, we can get up and stretch.

Never want to be the glass-half-empty guy, but it is worth reminding everyone that the Red Sox are beating up on teams they should be beating up on. (How's that for some solid English?)

This series is the fifth out of seven in which Boston's opponent is in last place. I think I actually said it was four of six on the air last night, but I left one out. That's an extremely soft stretch. It will get a bit harder going forward, although there are visits to Seattle and Kansas City coming up.

End 6th, Red Sox 11-4: Stop me if you've heard this before.

Jacoby Ellsbury doubled, Dustin Pedroia singled and Adrian Gonzalez knocked in a run with a base hit to center.

Well, there are many variations, but that's one of the more standard versions.

Actually, the punchline might've been altered if not for the line-drive double play hit into by Kevin Youkilis which stifled the rally.

Randy Williams remains in the game for Boston.

Mid 6th, Red Sox 10-4: Randy Williams, pitching for the first time since taking the loss in the 14-inning disaster the other night, gets his one man to finish the sixth.

Dan Wheeler was up in the bullpen. He has sat back down it seems, so Williams may get some outs in the seventh, too.

John Lackey's line: 5.2 IP, 11 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K. He threw 113 pitches, 78 for strikes.

I Tweeted this moments ago, but it bears repeating. Lackey is in line to become the 38th pitcher in baseball with nine wins tonight. Of the other 37, only one has an ERA over 5.00. Lackey's is 6.20.

9:12 p.m.: John Lackey gets the first two outs in the sixth, but can't get any further than that.

He gives up a double to Melky Cabrera and a single to Billy Butler. Terry Francona has called upon Randy Williams to face the left-handed Eric Hosmer.

Lackey's 11 hits allowed are the most for him since 6/1/10.

End 5th, Red Sox 10-4: Nathan Adcock replaces an ineffective Bruce Chen and proceeds to retire the side in order in the fifth.

John Lackey in pursuit of a quality start here since one of the runs was unearned. Not his best outing so far, but this offense can cover up a lot of stuff.

Mid 5th, Red Sox 10-4: John Lackey is now in line for a win, although this hasn't been a picture of perfection.

Billy Butler slugged a solo shot off Lackey with one out in the fifth. One out later, Jeff Francouer doubled, beginning a bit of a jam for Lackey.

A walk and a single loaded the bases before Lackey escaped by getting Chris Getz to foul out to Salty.

End 4th, Red Sox 10-3: My goodness. Bruce Chen is the latest in a long line of rather ordinary arms that is just completely overmatched facing this lineup.

The Red Sox get six more hits in the fourth, the capper a grand slam into the seats in right by David Ortiz.

It is the 20th home run of the year for Ortiz, his 10th career grand slam and he now has 1,000 RBIs in his Red Sox career.

The Sox did all that despite giving Chen an out when Jacoby Ellsbury rounded third base too far on a hit by Dustin Pedroia.

Darnell McDonald led it off with a double and scored on Yamaico Navarro's single. Those two are 4-for-4 with three runs scored at the bottom of the order.

Ellsbury reached on a fielder's choice. Pedroia's hit, although it erased Ellsbury on the bases, was one of three straight singles before Ortiz destroyed a 3-1 offering from Chen.

Mid 4th, Red Sox 5-3: Seven in a row have been retired by John Lackey. You can put a star next to the first out of the fourth.

Chris Getz led off by smacking a hard grounder back through the box. Marco Scutaro ranged to his left, scooped the ball as he slid and spun to his feet, throwing in the same motion.

Adrian Gonzalez had a nice stretch to make sure the Scutaro gem counted.

Lackey is up to 72 pitches.

End 3rd, Red Sox 5-3: And that, my friends, is what a 1-2-3 inning FROM BRUCE CHEN looks like.

After facing 13 men in the first two innings, Chen retires David Ortiz on a deep drive to right-center, Jarrod Saltalamacchia on a pop to first and Marco Scutaro on a grounder to second.

Mid 3rd, Red Sox 5-3: And that, my friends, is what a 1-2-3 inning looks like. They have been few and far between the last two nights.

John Lackey gets the first two outs in the air and then a third on the ground when Brayan Pena bounces one softly to Dustin Pedroia.

End 2nd, Red Sox 5-3: Although the Red Sox scored three runs, the bottom of the second was marked by a scary moment.

Dustin Pedroia — batting with no outs, the bases loaded and one run already in — hit a vicious line drive that struck third base coach Tim Bogar. It looked awful, the ball flying away and Bogar nearly knocked off his feet, but it seemed to catch him in the meaty part of the shoulder and skipped right off him.

Bogar was smiling within a few seconds, and Pedroia, who began to bolt toward Bogar, could breathe a sigh of relief.

In fact, Pedroia sent the very next pitch down the line in right, scoring Darnell McDonald with a sacrifice fly. Adrian Gonzalez would add an RBI groundout.

The first run came when Bruce Chen loaded the bases on a walk and two singles to the bottom third of the Boston order, and then issued a four-pitch walk to Jacoby Ellsbury.

Mid 2nd, Royals 3-2: The first zero is on the board but it did not come without some action.

John Lackey gave up his second double to Alex Gordon is as many encounters tonight. A comebacker allowed Lackey to get Gordon in a pickle, which resulted in an out but allowed Melky Cabrera to race all the way to second.

Cabrera then moved to third on a hard single to left by Billy Butler. Eric Hosmer, who homered in the first, took Lackey to the track in center for the final out.

Lackey has thrown 45 pitches already. Most of his off-speed stuff has been hammered. In fact, five of the six hits against him have come on curves, changeups or sliders.

End 1st, Royals 3-2: Jason Varitek was discussing the outstanding Red Sox offense last night, and he quickly made a point to say that the man at the top, Jacoby Ellsbury, was the driving force.

Just as he began to give Ellsbury some praise, Varitek quickly made sure to point out that he was not forgetting Dustin Pedroia. No disrespect to Pedey, Varitek implied.

The captain could have kept doing that through the next few hitters, but simply mentioning those two is a pretty good place to stop.

Ellsbury and Pedroia backed Varitek's words with a power display in the first. Ellsbury ripped the second pitch of the game by Bruce Chen off the Pesky Pole for his 17th home run of the year, now tied with Adrian Gonzalez and two behind David Ortiz.

Not to be outdone, Pedroia slugged one over the Green Monster a few pitches later. That was his 14th and extended his hitting streak to 24 games, tops in franchise history for a second baseman.

Mid 1st, Royals 3-0: Much is made of John Lackey's reactions to his teammates when they don't make a play behind him.

Didn't see anything of note, but one wouldn't blame Lackey for blowing off some steam early on. The boys behind him didn't help out all that much, and Lackey certainly didn't do much to pick them up.

The game started when Alex Gordon drove a ball deep to left. The inexperienced Yamaico Navarro raced back but backed away and decided to play the ball off the wall. When it hit at the base of the wall, it was clear that Navarro probably could have caught it.

Instead, Gordon had a double, and Melky Cabrera then reached when Kevin Youkilis booted a rather routine grounder.

After a strikeout of Billy Butler, standout rookie Eric Hosmer positively unloaded on a 2-0 hanging changeup for a three-run homer. Hosmer, a left-handed hitter, took it the other way and cleared the Monster seats near the Volvo sign.

Two more hits would come in the inning before Lackey finally escaped. Two of the runs are earned, one unearned.

7:10 p.m.: On an absolutely beautiful night at the park, John Lackey has started things off with a strike to Alex Gordon.

6:10 p.m.: Interesting scene in the Red Sox clubhouse as players and media members stared at the TVs showing the worst calls in MLB history, a topic after this mess.

David Ortiz, in particular, was having a great time reliving some of the old moments, which included the George Brett pine tar incident, the Jeffrey Maier incident and the Jim (not Jeff, sorry) Joyce blown call last year in Detroit.

Ortiz laughed it up when Kent Hrbek pulled Ron Gant off the base in the '91 World Series, and was on Brett's side in the pine tar issue.

John Lackey, sometimes known as a guy who is willing to show his frustration with bad calls (as well as plays behind him), takes the mound in an hour seeking his fourth straight win.

Terry Francona said earlier that "the way Lack's pitching is really uplifting."

In an effort to continue that rise, Lackey will try to tame this bunch:

Alex Gordon, LF
Melky Cabrera, CF
Billy Butler, DH
Eric Hosmer, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Mike Moustakas, 3B
Brayan Pena, C
Chris Getz, 2B
Alcides Escobar, SS

Lackey has only faced four of those hitters, including the top three. That trio is a combined 14-for-39 (.359) against Lackey.

4:21 p.m.: Always observant, the one guy I missed in the early BP session (see earlier post) was Jed Lowrie, which is rather significant.

It doesn't mean that Lowrie is due back anytimes soon, but it is a milestone in his progression.

Terry Francona described the progress in three ways: steady, plodding, consistent. Certainly not fast.

In other injury-related news, this one more pressing, Clay Buchholz will not throw his tentatively scheduled side session today. Instead, he is going to see another specialist at some point between Friday and Monday. If he gets the OK then, he may throw off the mound early next week.

It's another in a series of setbacks in the schedule for Buchholz. One has to wonder if his continued issues press the team's hand on the market in the coming hours and days.

As for Kevin Youkilis, he came in feeling just fine. Francona made out the original lineup ahead of time, fully anticipating giving Youkilis another day off. When the star third baseman showed up wanting to play, it was just a matter of moving some things around.

The decision to stick with Yamaico Navarro rather than Josh Reddick is a tad curious, given the fact that Reddick has hammered lefties. Francona said he wants to see Navarro in there against a southpaw.

3:17 p.m.: No sooner do I fire off that last update and we get word that Kevin Youkilis will play.

Here is the new configuration. Josh Reddick is the casualty.:

Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
David Ortiz, DH
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Marco Scutaro, SS
Darnell McDonald, RF
Yamaico Navarro, LF

3:15 p.m.: Greetings from Fenway Park, where Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Drew Sutton and Yamaico Navarro are taking early batting practice on the field below.

Two of them are in this lineup:

Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Marco Scutaro, SS
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Darnell McDonald, LF
Josh Reddick, RF
Yamaico Navarro, 3B

8 a.m.: John Lackey seeks his fourth straight win when he takes the mound Wednesday night against Kansas City.

Lackey is 3-0 with a 1.86 ERA in his last three starts, all after a disastrous outing versus Toronto. He owns a 3.21 mark in eight career appearances against the Royals.

Kansas City counters with one-time Red Sox lefty Bruce Chen, who is 5-3 with a 3.30 ERA this season.

Boston is expected to be without Kevin Youkilis for the second straight game. Youkilis hurt his right hamstring Monday night, sat out Tuesday?s win and manager Terry Francona indicated that he may sit his star third baseman once more.

First pitch from Lackey is expected at 7:10 p.m.

3:15 p.m.: Greetings from Fenway Park, where Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Drew Sutton and Yamaico Navarro are taking early batting practice on the field below.

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