He was signaling for a home run, but he may as well have been calling the fight.
When Jeff Kellogg finally pulled away from the monitor, hopped up the small stairwell by the Detroit Tigers’ dugout with two of the three other umpires in his crew and swirled his index finger in the air, he was tacking another run on a Red Sox lead that was already insurmountable.
The seventh-inning fly ball that Ryan Lavarnway sent howling at the Green Monster cleared the Wall by a hair before ricocheting back onto the outfield grass.
But at that point, with the Red Sox coming off an eight-run inning, the difference between an RBI double and a two-run homer seemed negligible.
It was a matter of throwing more dirt on a team that was already buried.
With the Sox and the Tigers battling for American League supremacy during their three-game set, the possible postseason foreshadowing seemed to linger over every pitch of the series finale Wednesday night.
Their first two games played out like methodical grappling, ultra-intense pitching duels soaked in playoff-level tension.
But in the finale, the Sox left the Tigers with a knockout punch.
Their 20-4 runaway was emphatic.
Lavarnway’s blast was the sixth of the Sox’ eight home runs, a total that tied the franchise record for a game.
In addition, Jacoby Ellsbury, David Ortiz (2), Will Middlebrooks, Daniel Nava, Stephen Drew, and Mike Napoli all went deep, unloading on a Tigers pitching staff that came into the night having given up the fewest homers of any team in the league.
In the first four innings alone, Drew, Ortiz, and Ellsbury went deep, with the wind blowing out.
But at that point, all the firepower was just enough to keep the Sox even with the Tigers, who got a two-run shot from Prince Fielder in the third.
Ortiz, already the all-time leader for hits by a designated hitter, reached another milestone when he doubled to center field in the sixth for his 2,000th hit. He received a hearty ovation.
Ryan Dempster was making just his second start since being suspended for hitting Alex Rodriguez.
The Tigers were one of two teams, along with the Yankees, that he had never notched a win against.
But more than that, in 10 starts dating to June 30, he had only factored into three decisions. Even though he gave up seven homers and had a 5.75 ERA over those starts, he still left with the lead seven times and the Sox were able to pull out eight wins.