David Ortiz ended his mini-slump hitting two home runs Monday as the Red Sox clobbered the Toronto Blue Jays with 18 hits and four home runs in a 14-1 win at Rogers Centre.
It was the most hits, runs, and home runs for the Red Sox of the season.
Ortiz hit a towering two-run shot in the fourth inning off Blue Jays reliever Brad Mills and came back in the fifth for another. He finished 2 of 5 with 4 RBI.
Mills, who came in for Blue Jays starter Drew Hutchison, lasted only 2 innings after giving up his third home run and eighth run. He was yanked after a Mike Napoli moon shot to left field that followed Ortiz’s second blast. Hutchison stunk up the joint as well, lasting 2.2 innings as the Red Sox battered him with six runs in the game, mostly from the bottom of the order.
Stephen Drew finished 2 of 4 with 4 RBI after a three-run homer in the third inning. Jackie Bradley Jr. was 2 of 5 with 2 RBI and Christian Vazquez was 1 of 5 with 2 RBI as the Sox were able to get production throughout the lineup. Napoli, Xander Bogaerts, and Daniel Nava all had three-hit nights, with Bogaerts and Nava scoring two runs for the Sox and Napoli adding three, including his solo shot.
By all means, it was an offensive explosion and gave Sox starter John Lackey plenty of rest between innings. Lackey pitched 7.0 innings, allowing one earned run after back to back doubles by Erik Kratz and Juan Francisco. Those were the only two hits he allowed in the game while striking out three for his 11th win of the season. He retired the last 14 batter he faced and improved to 11-6 on the year. The Red Sox improved to 47-52, five games away from .500.
The only Red Sox player that didn’t have a good outing was Dustin Pedroia, who went 0 for 4 to continue his own slump.
MVP: David Ortiz
Ortiz effectively ended his slump. Before Monday’s two home run effort and his fourth inning shot, Ortiz had been hitless in his last 10 at-bats. He went 1 for 13 against Kansas City in the Sox’ three game series following the All-Star break. So this was a necessary and more than welcoming for Sox fans.
GOAT: Brad Mills
The Blue Jays reliever edged out starter Drew Hutchison here. Mills got hammered for eight runs and it didn’t look like skipper John Gibbons was going to let him off the hook until it got to be unbearable.
Brock Holt continued his amazing streak of defensive prowess, this time in right field. He gloved a deep shot by Dan Johnson to right field at the wall. You have to see it in all its glory.
QUOTE OF THE GAME
“My timing’s a little off. But I’m about to get hotter than Jamaica in the middle of August.” — David Ortiz before Monday’s game.
WHAT IT MEANS
The Sox have now won eight of their last nine games, marking their best nine-game stretch of the season. With four straight wins out of the All-Star break, the Sox are now one win away from tying their best post-break streak (5) since 1996.
Jake Peavy (1-8, 4.59 ERA) will be looking for his second win of the season Tuesday against the Blue Jays, who will almost surely be looking to save face. The Blue Jays will trot out left-hander J.A. Happ (7-5, 4.91). The Sox still use Clay Buchholz (5-5, 5.46) and Rubby De La Rosa (3-2, 2.64) on Wednesday and Thursday to close out the series.