Saltalamacchia, Ortiz Power Sox To 10-5 Victory

Jarrod Saltalamacchia homered twice, and the Red Sox other bats followed suit as Boston dismantled the Los Angeles Angels 10-5 to finish off the series by taking two of three. Sox starter Ryan Dempster was shaky, but good enough to get his second straight victory to improve to 4-6.

L.A. got on the board first as Albert Pujols hit a solo homer into the right field bullpen. The 1-0 edge for the Angels lasted until the third before the Red Sox bats woke up against Angels right hander Joe Blanton and plated four runs. After Jacoby Ellsbury reached on a fielder’s choice and stole second, Daniel Nava lined a run scoring single to right to tie the score. After Dustin Pedroia singled, the red-hot David Ortiz stepped up and continued his assault, launching a three-run homer to right field to give Boston their first lead of the game – a lead that would hold firm in this one.

Ortiz has been doing a lot of admiring lately, here launching his 13th homer to give the Sox a 4-1 advantage.

Ortiz has been doing a lot of admiring lately, here launching his 13th homer to give the Sox a 4-1 advantage.

Both teams would go back and forth for the next couple innings, and Boston held a slim 5-3 lead heading into the sixth inning. With Blanton still pitching, Saltalamacchia stepped up and hit his first home run of the afternoon into the batter’s eye. On the very next pitch, Mike Carp sent one to left center for his sixth homer, which chased Blanton from the game after 5+ innings and allowing seven runs.

Michael Kohn had finished the sixth inning with a scoreless effort before being relieved by Robert Coello for the seventh. Coello had been a surprise for the Angels until the wheels fell off Sunday. After getting Pedroia to fly out, Coello walked Ortiz and Mike Napoli back-to-back to set up a scoring opportunity for Saltalamacchia. Salty then got a hold of a pitch and drove it almost to the same spot as his previous homer for the three-run homer that put Boston on top 10-3.

Craig Breslow was able to come on for Ryan Dempster and pitch a scoreless inning, and the usually reliable Koji Uehara came out for the eighth. Usually accurate, Uehara seemed uncomfortable on the mound and upset with home plate umpire Marty Foster over some close pitches that were called balls. Mark Trumbo and Alberto Callaspo (with Callaspo reaching via the fielder’s choice) grounded out around a hit-by-pitch to Howie Kendrick, so Uehara was one out from getting out of the inning, but the Angels came to life with two down. Erick Ayber walked followed by Chris Iannetta who would work Koji on nine pitches for another walk. With the bases loaded, number nine hitter J.B. Shuck singled to center to score Ayber and Iannetta.

Thankfully for the Sox, the insurance from Salty’s homer would prove to be the difference maker, as Andrew Miller got the Sox out of the jam left behind by Uehara. Andrew Bailey came on for the ninth even without a save opportunity to shut the door on the Angels.

The Sox won their third straight series, and stayed 1 1/2 games in front of the Yankees in the AL East. A tough schedule looms for Boston as the Sox begin a seven game road trip in Tampa tonight with John Lackey opposing Alex Cobb. Boston will then head to Baltimore for four, then back to Fenway for another series with Tampa, followed by a four game series in Detroit.

Inside The Game

-Mike Napoli was the only Sox starter not to get a hit, going 0-4 with 4 strikeouts and a walk. He already has 89 Ks on the year and is on pace to shatter the club record (And MLB record)for whiffs in a season (His current pace would put him at 225!)

-With three more RBI (and 12 in his last six games), David Ortiz took over the team lead in RBI from Napoli with 48 in just 45 games played.

-Since his activation from the DL, Andrew Bailey has had just one save (in one chance), it helps that most of the Sox wins of late have been blowouts.

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