David Ortiz‘s 3-run homer in the 8th inning tonight marked quite the milestone: his seventh season with 30 home runs and 100 RBI.
The Sox DH wasn’t the only player giving starting pitcher Clay Buchholz some run support. Stephen Drew and Daniel Nava also contributed 3 RBI each. Jonny Gomes hit a solo homer. Mike Napoli and Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit doubles. Dustin Pedroia collected 3 hits. Replacing Jacoby Ellsbury in the bottom of the 7th, Jackie Bradley Jr. got walked and eventually scored a run due to Ortiz’s homer. In the top of the 9th, Xander Bogaerts pinch hit for Drew and got a single.
Clay looked solid. He went 7 innings allowing 7 hits, but only 3 earned runs on 113 pitches. His 4 strike outs, along with the aforementioned offensive explosion, earned him his 12 win of the season and lowered his ERA to 1.74. The Sox crushed the O’s 12-3, chasing starting pitcher Scott Feldman after only 2.1 innings and dropping him to 12-12 for the season.
Tonight’s win secured the Red Sox home field advantage for the ALDS. After the Sox game finished, fans’ eyes turned to Seattle to root for the Mariners. A loss by Oakland would secure Boston home field throughout the playoffs. The Sox have the ability to win on the road, but it’s always nice to play on your home field.