No Papi, no problem in 10-1 Red Sox victory
Thunderstorms may have turned the lights off in parts of Massachusetts last night, but the Red Sox turned it on at Fenway Park, despite the absence of powerhouse David Ortiz. The Red Sox pulled away early, taking an 8-1 lead in the fourth inning that the Chicago White Sox wouldn’t be able to match in the final 10-1 Boston victory.
When Ortiz was named to the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a strained right Achilles’ tendon, it seemed like getting the offense going might be a concern. Injuries have plagued Boston this season, and with the returns of Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford, and Dustin Pedroia set to make his comeback Thursday, having the team in one piece could only have meant good things for the Red Sox.
However, a few of Ortiz’s teammates put those fears to bed quickly. Cody Ross and Adrian Gonzales combined for four runs, three home runs, and 10 RBIs – accounting for all of the team’s scoring. Ross also provided two three-run homers while Ellsbury added three hits.
“You can’t make up for David,’’ Ross told media after the game. “Nobody in baseball can. He’s one of the best hitters in the game. You just try to pick him up and do your part and tonight we did.’’
Not to be overshadowed by the 10 runs provided by his team’s offense, Felix Doubront picked up his tenth win Wednesday, becoming the first member of the Red Sox pitching staff to do so this season, with a 10-4 record. After allowing a first inning run, Doubront remained solid, allowing one run on four hits and three walks with two strikeouts. Matt Albers, Mark Melancon, and Andrew Miller combined to finish it for Boston, throwing three scoreless innings through the seventh, eighth, and ninth.
– While they cranked out hits Wednesday, the Sox won’t have it easy when it comes to filling Ortiz’s void in the next two weeks. The win over Chicago certainly made it look easy, but Ortiz’s .316 average and 23 homeruns this season make him an obvious standout and even if his teammates can keep up the production, Big Papi’s offensive power will absolutely be missed.
– Ross and Gonzalez were entirely successful in filling the offensive void left by Ortiz, and if they can keep up the production Ortiz’s return will come as a boost to the team, but not a necessary relief as was feared.
– The pitching Wednesday night was exactly what the Red Sox needed. The team has had a difficult time putting together entire games of consistent pitching, but the 10-1 victory proved Boston can still find success on the mound through nine innings. The three relievers retired all nine batters they faced and struck out three.
– The Red Sox (47-45) look to take the final game in this Chicago series as Clay Buchholz takes the mound Thursday against Chicago rookie Jose Quintana. Buchholz has had just one outing since returning from the DL, and he pitched well with eight strikeouts despite a loss. Pedroia is staged for his own return from the DL after sustaining a strained thumb making a diving play July 3.