Dempster worked six innings and allowed four hits and two runs with a season high 10 strikeouts. Dempster is now averaging 12.9 strikeouts per nine innings this season as he continues to pitch at a surprisingly high level even though his 1-2 record may not reflect it.
Dempster’s contributions in the third starter’s slot have been huge as the team awaits the return of John Lackey to the rotation. He has really stepped up as that solid, veteran presence in the middle of the rotation. It is something the Red Sox needed this year if they hoped to get off to a good start.
Ross led the way in the Sox 17-hit attack by going 4-4 and hitting a solo homer onto the parking garage behind the Green Monster in the second inning and later teaming up with Will Middlebrooks for back to back shots in the fourth.
If Ross continues to show this kind of pop it is likely he will further cut in to Jarrod Saltalamacchia‘s playing time. Right now he is doing everything GM Ben Cherington hoped for when he signed Ross over the winter. Pitchers already love Ross’ ability to call a game, handle a staff and throw out runners. If he hits, he will force his way into more playing time.
David Ortiz also went deep in this one and Jonny Gomes finally picked up his first RBI of the season with a ninth inning single as the Red Sox battered starter Erik Bedard and a trio of relievers and did what good teams must do- beat the bad teams. The Astros are certainly that. One more win this weekend and the Sox will have done their job by winning yet another series and continuing to prove that they are in this for the long haul.