Leading MLB in offense and wins, the Red Sox kicked off their 9-game home stand against the NL’s leading offensive team, the Rockies– one Tulo low– and finally gave Ryan Dempster [5-8] adequate run support–with a season high 20 hits [no HRs]–to maintain their 2 ½ game first place margin over the Orioles and Yankees with an 11-4 win .
|Red Sox .270||.345||
In their two previous games, both wins, the Rox pounded 14 runs on 25 hits and lead the NL in HRs, RBIs, and Rs, but Dempster limited them to 2 runs and 6 hits in 6 innings. Dempster recorded a quality start in each of his four starts in June, posting a 3.48 ERA. He allowed just three runs over six innings in his last outing vs. the Rays, but lost due to lack of run support.
Colorado starter, the still promising 26-year-old Juan Nicasio [4-4], has yet to fulfill his promise to make it past the 6th inning in 2013 and had not had a win in 37 days [May 19] and he lasted just 2 1/3 innings; the Sox pummeled him for 7 Rs, 12 Hs, with 2 Ws/ 2 Ks. The Sox tacked on another run in the 4th and a pair in the 7th, while the Rox managed 2 runs off winning pitcher Dempster and scored 2 on Alex Wilson.
After Chris Davis and Miguel Cabrera, the next four MLB hitting leaders are Sox and Rox:
|Tulowitzki, T .347||.413||.635||1.048|
|Ortiz, D .316||.392||.613||1.005|
|Gonzalez, C .300||.371||.621||.992|
|Cuddyer, M .339||.394||.573||.968|
Jose “The Bat” Iglesias was 3 for 4 in his 17th multi-hit game this season and would be leading the AL in BA with his .434 average, if he had the minimum required ABs.
“It’s good to have the opportunity to play every single day,” said Iglesias, who is now batting .434 on the year. “It kind of surprised me, you know? I never think of playing third in my life and now you get a chance to play here.”
The relentless Red Sox scored and had at least three hits in each of the first four innings. They were not set down in order until the sixth.
A Sox Trio — Jose Iglesias, Jacoby Ellsbury and Daniel Nava — had three-hit nights and every starting batter had at least one.
Remarkably, none of the Boston Bashers hit a HR.
Boston’s 20 hits was their high watermark for 2013 and the win reversed a trend: the Sox had lost their last two games and four of their last five games.
“Outstanding performance,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “Anytime you get 20 hits it’s a very good night, but I think early on we found some holes with some base hits that weren’t squared up and then combined it with some balls that were squared up.”
Six Red Sox reached based at least three times Tuesday, their most in a nine-inning game since Sept. 19, 2011.
In the 2nd, Rockie Wilin Rosario drove one well over the Green Monster into the parking lot across the street; it was a typical Dempster solo shot. [ Eight-eight percent of the 17 long balls Dempster has allowed in 2013  were with none on base.]
“I’ve always said solo home runs don’t beat you…I wish there haven’t been that many I’ve given up, but you know especially in a situation like tonight where we’re putting up runs, I’m trying to attack the strike zone and if somebody hits one out they hit one out.” Dempster said.
Dempster got his fifth win of 2013 and lowered his ERA to 4.15.
“Yeah it just looked like he struggled to find a rhythm tonight,” Colorado manager Walt Weiss said of Nicasio. “He was in bad counts and it’s a tough club to be in bad counts with. If you’re going to get a fastball in fastball counts, these guys aren’t going to miss it.”
Iglesias is hitting .434, an average he seemingly cannot sustain. There is a better than decent chance that number will fall, but since Iglesias is fully aware he’s not going anywhere, it’s going to be fun to find out how long he can make that high average last.
“I’ve always been a confident guy and try to stay positive as much as possible. It’s been pretty good for me so far…It’s good to have an opportunity of playing every single day. It kind of surprised me. I never thought about playing third in my life, and now to get a chance to play here (is great).”Iglesias said
“It’s been really impressive what he’s done. There’s been times when people have said, ‘Well, it’s a soft .400,’” said winning starter Ryan Dempster: “Is there such a thing? Let’s try to figure that out. It’s still .430 he’s hitting. He’s driving the ball, too. And on top of all the hitting, and that’s all great, but what he’s done with his glove whether he’s playing third or short or second or center field, I don’t know, he’s got this amazing glove and does a really good job. It’s good to see the success he has. Ride it for as long as it lasts.”
Last night was a 20-hit night for the Red Sox, and Iglesias was one of four players with three hits.
“As we’ve talked a number of times, he’s back to an aggressive swing where he’s not trying to steer the ball around the field,’’ manager John Farrell said. “Hitting it hard where it’s pitched, and we’re seeing it nightly.’’
“I was able to put some good swings and find some holes,” he explained. “It’s good to get an idea you’re going to play a lot, hopefully every day, and I’m just happy to be here.”
In the 7th In the inning, Victorino, “The Flyin’ Hawaian” collided with the right-field wall and dropped a fly ball hit by Jonathan Herrera. Victorino, left Sunday’s game against Detroit with back tightness after running into a wall.
“Well, another wall another day,” Farrell said. “He hit a bolt that holds up one of those signs and it’s not that he suffered a gash but it hit him in a tough spot right above the ear. Kind of lost his footing going after the ball and like I said it seems like he’s finding a wall on a daily basis.”
Like the Sox in the AL East, the Rox are in a multi-team race in the NL West; last place, but red-hot, Toronto is just 5 ½ GB; the Yanks and O’s are 2 ½ GB with the Rays 4 ½ GB, while Arizona leads with the last place Dodgers 8 GB with the Rox tied for 2nd with the flying Friars [3 GB], the Giants just 3 ½ GB.
SOX ROX BOX: http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_06_25_colmlb_bosmlb_1
NEXT GAME TOMORROW:
4:05 PM ET Fenway Park
A year and one day after trading Kevin Youkilis to make room for Will Middlebrooks, the Red Sox have sent him to find his hitting mechanics. As long as Iglesias is hitting about the Mendoza line, Middlebrooks will be given ABs with the PawSox.
The Opening Day starter played 53 games this season hitting .192 with nine home runs and 25 RBI.
Red Sox manager John Farrell has decided to start Jose Iglesias [.419, 26 hits in June] at 3b.
Boston moved catcher David Ross [concussion] to the 60-day DL; the 36 year-old appeared in 23 games, hitting .185 with 4 HRs, 6 RBI.
The Red Sox moved backup catcher David Ross to the 60-day disabled list on Tuesday, acknowledging that he faces a lengthy recovery from two concussions.
Ross will not be eligible to return until Aug. 18. But he expects to be ready by then according to agent Ryan Gleichowski.
“He’s very optimistic about that and he’s doing well,” Gleichowski said. “David wanted to try and push through it, but he understands you have be careful with these things.”
Ross suffered the two concussions in a span of 33 days when foul balls struck the front of his mask. He was on the disabled list from May 12-24 and returned there on June 18 after being injured during a game against Baltimore.
Until this year, Ross had never suffered a concussion.
A specialist, Dr. Michael Collins of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, examined Ross on June 20. He recommended Ross leave the team and return to his home in Florida to recover.
Because Ross has had two concussions, it’s difficult to project when he could return. He also would need time to get back in playing shape before being activated.
Collins will examine Ross again on July 9.
“Because it’s two concussions, it’s a concern,” Gleichowski said. “But David will be back this season. He’s very sure of that.”
Utility man Brandon Snyder has been called up to fill the Ross roster spot.
Nursing a neck injury, Clay Buchholz is about 10-14 days away from returning to the rotation.
Middlebrooks, 24, hit .288/.325/.509 (120 OPS+) with 15 home runs in 75 games last year before a pitch broke his wrist and ended his rookie season in August. In 53 games this year, he hit just .192/.228/.389 (62 OPS+) with nine homers while missing time with back spasms.
Baseball America ranked Middlebrooks as the 51st-best prospect in the game before last season, saying he “is an aggressive hitter who doesn’t walk much and may not hit more than .275 or so in the majors” in their 2012 Prospect Handbook. In 128 career big-league games, Middlebrooks has 130 strikeouts and only 22 walks.
Snyder, 26, hit .267/.338/.470 with 10 home runs in 63 Triple-A games this season. He’s a career .276/.324/.418 (97 OPS+) hitter in parts of three big-league seasons. Infielder Jose Iglesias, who has hit .426/.479/.565 (180 OPS+) in 33 games this year, figures to man the hot corner full-time.
Michael Cuddyer extended his hitting streak to 22 games with two infield singles, the longest streak in the majors this season.
This marks the Rockies’ first visit to Fenway Park since the 2007 World Series. These teams last met in 2010 at Coors Field, where Colorado took two of three from Boston.
In the 2007 World Series, the Red Sox claimed the first two contests, 13-1 and 2-1, at Fenway before proceeding to sweep Colorado.