After being shutout 3-0 on Labor Day and squeezing out a 2-1 victory Tuesday, the Red sox responded with a 19-hit, 20-run outburst as they beat the Tigers. The game looked more an extended batting practice session, and less like a game between the two top clubs in the American League.
The Red Sox improved to 87-54, the best in the American League, and stretched their division lead to six games over Tampa Bay.
David Ortiz hit his 2,000th career hit, which was a double in the sixth inning, and added a pair of home runs in the fourth and seventh innings.
Ortiz, Daniel Nava, Will Middlebrooks, Jacoby Ellsbury, Stephen Drew, Mike Napoli and Ryan Lavarnway all hit home runs, tying the franchise single-game record for most in a game.
“This is the best time for this to happen,” Ortiz said. “We’re in September already. We have a little bit of a lack of offense… We need that one game to kind of wake you up, and I think this is it.”
Ryan Dempster earned his second consecutive win since being suspended for hitting Alex Rodriguez, and struck out seen batters over six innings, while allowing four runs.
Quintin Berry, who was traded to Boston and called up on Sunday, recorded his first hit with the Red Sox – an RBI single in the seventh inning. He also had another RBI single in the eighth.
Final: Red Sox 20, Tigers 4 – Napoli homered in the eight inning, tying the single-game franchise record for most home runs in a game, giving the Red Sox their 8th of the night. Berry also had an RBI single in the inning, his second of the night. Rubby De La Rosa pitched the ninth inning to end the slugfest.
Bottom of the 7th: Red Sox 18, Tigers 4 – Somehow, the Red Sox had more offense left in their bats. Ryan Lavarnway hit a two-run home run off the top of the Green Monster. It was originally ruled a hit, and then overturned. Quintin Berry tallied his first hit with the Sox, an RBI single that scored Middlebrooks. Then, with the crowd giving a standing ovation, Ortiz cranked another two run home run, his second of the night. It was his 41st career multi-home run game. They should call this one off at this point.
Bottom of the 6th: Red Sox 13, Tigers 4 – The wheels came off fast for Detroit in that inning. Porcello intentionally walked Drew to load the bases, and then walked Mike Carp to bring a run home. Al Alburquerque came in relief against Middlebrooks, and the Sox third baseman sent his second pitch into the Green Monster for a grand slam. Later in the inning, Ortiz doubled and Quintin Berry scored. Ortiz collected his 2,000th career hit and received a hearty ovation from the Fenway crowd.
Nava also hit a two-run home run, the team’s fifth of the night.
Top of the 6th: Red Sox 5, Tigers 4 – Impressive inning for Dempster, striking out the side in order. He battled back from a 3-0 count to get Avila with a slider on his 100th pitch of the evening. However, he’s still throwing hard, getting his fastball above 88.
End of the 5th: Red Sox 5, Tigers 4 – The Sox have added at least one run in every inning since the second. This time, Victorino scored on a sacrifice fly from Pedroia. Victorino stole second base after hitting a single, and advanced to third on a throwing error from Avila. It was Victorino’s 19th swipe of the season. It appeared Dirks trapped the fly ball in left field, but he made the catch and his throw home was not in time.
Bottom of the 4th: Red Sox 4, Tigers 4 – Neither pitcher seems able to hold a lead tonight. Ortiz throws his name into tonight’s home run derby after smashing Porcello’s 1-1 fastball into the bleachers. Ortiz now just one hit away from 2,000. That was home run number 426 for Papi.
Top of the 4th: Tigers 4, Red Sox 3 – After getting the first out, Dempster gave up a single, double and a walk to load the bases. Iglesias grounded to Middlebrooks and just beat out Pedroia’s return throw on the double play attempt. Avila slid hard into second to break it up, and Don Kelly scored. Shane “Bamm-Bamm” Victorino ended the inning by falling into the stands after making a leaping catch.
Bottom of the 3rd: Red Sox 3, Tigers 3 – To no surprise, the flag in center field is blowing slightly towards right field. In the bottom half of the frame, Jacoby Ellsbury hit a solo home run towards Pesky Pole to tie the game. It was the third home run of the night, including Fielder’s and Drew’s, both of which wrapped around the pole. Porcello fielded a sharp come-backer from Pedroia and fired to Iglesias, who turned the double play to end the inning. Iglesias with a flashy leap over a sliding Victorino to make the throw.
Top of the 3rd: Tigers 3, Red Sox 2 – Detroit piled on runs in that inning to take the lead from the Sox, led by Prince Fielder’s two-run home run. Jose Iglesias bunted for a one-out single and advanced to third on a base hit by Austin Jackson. Iglesias scored on Hunter’s groundout to Pedroia. Pedroia had to wait for Jackson to get out of the way before making the throw to first, preventing a chance for a double play. In the next at-bat, Fielder quickly deposited Dempster’s 85-mile-per-hour slider. From up in the press box, the pitch looked really flat. Fielder put it out in a hurry.
End of the 2nd: Red Sox 2, Tigers 0 – Stephen Drew got the Red Sox on the board with a two-run home run. Porcello offered a 1-1 fastball, but Drew had little trouble handling it, sending it hooking around Pesky’s Pole. Daniel Nava, who reached on a one-out single, scored. The home run was Drew’s 12th of the season.
End of the 1st: Red Sox 0, Tigers 0 – Ryan Dempster got out of the first inning relatively easy, striking out Austin Jackson and getting Torii Hunter to ground out softly when made contact on a check swing. Prince Fielder hit a soft grounder to third base, but reached because Will Middlebrooks was playing in the shift. Rick Porcello retired the Red Sox in order in the bottom of the frame. Jacoby Ellsbury hit a hard liner to left field, but Andy Dirks made a nice leaping catch against the wall to make the out.
Welcome to Fenway Park for the third and final matchup of the series between the Tigers and Red Sox. Follow here for updates throughout the game.