The Red Sox capped their nine-game homestand in rousing fashion, erupting for 10 hits in a 10-4 thumping of the Toronto Blue Jays Wednesday afternoon before a Fenway Park crowd of 37,744.
The Red Sox improved to 40-35 to pull into a third-place tie with the Tampa Rays in the AL East standings after capping their homestand with a 7-2 record.
After Jon Lester allowed the Blue Jays to take an early 1-0 lead, giving up an RBI single to right by Colby Rasmus that scored Brett Lawrie who reached on a lead-off double to left, the Sox came back with a vengeance in the bottom of the frame.
The Sox roughed up lefthander Ricky Romero, scoring six runs on four hits and one error, to wrest the lead away for good, 6-1. Boston sent 10 men to the plate in the first, with the first five all scoring before Romero got Will Middlebrooks to ground to third to record the inning’s first out.
David Ortiz set the tone for the onslaught, scoring the first four times he went to the plate, reaching the first three times after drawing a walk. He made it 7-1 in the second when he scored on Adrian Gonzalez’s RBI single to left, then was part of a two-run outburst in the fourth that chased Romero (8-2) after he was charged with a season-high nine runs (eight earned) in 3.0 innings, his shortest stint of the season.
Lester (5-5) picked up the victory after going seven innings and allowing four runs on seven hits, including a pair of homers by Jose Bautista in the fourth that made it 7-2, and a two-run shot by Edwin Encarnacion that made it 10-4 in the sixth.
Ortiz made it 8-1 when he drew a lead-off walk from Romero, then hustled to third on a double off the wall by Cody Ross, which prompted Toronto manger John Farrell to summon Jesse Chavez from the bullpen. Gonzalez came up and hit an RBI single to left off Chavez to score Ortiz with Boston’s eighth run of the game.
After Middlebrooks struck out for the first out of the inning, Mike Aviles ripped an RBI double to left that scored Ross from second, making it 9-2.
Ortiz, who went 1-for-2 with 3 walks, 4 runs and 1 homer, clobbered his 21st homer of the season (and 399th of his career) when he took Chavez deep to the right field bleachers, making it 10-2 in the fifth.
Encarnacion got two back from Lester with his two-run blast over the Green Monster seats, but it was too little too late as the Sox relied upon Mark Melancon and Clay Mortensen to put the clamps on the Blue Jays.