Closing Time: Record show of power, David Ortiz pave way for Red Sox rout of Tigers

Rob Bradford
September 04, 2013 - 6:43 pm

If there was ever a message-sending to be found this season, it might have come at Fenway Park Wednesday night. The Red Sox entrenched their position atop the American League with a resounding 20-4 win over the Tigers, marking the most runs scored by John Farrell's team in a single game this season. The Sox are now 84-57, while Detroit drops to 81-59. Leading the way for the Red Sox was David Ortiz, who walloped a pair of home runs, marking the 41st time (39 with the Sox, a club record) he has come away with a multiple-home run game. There were eight homers for the Red Sox, tying the all-time franchise record for most home runs hit by the Sox at Fenway Park (July 4, 1977). It was the first time a major league team had totaled eight homers since 2010 (Blue Jays). Also, the seven different players hitting a homer for the Sox are the most in franchise history. Also of significance was Ortiz notching his 2,000th career hit, coming on a sixth-inning RBI double. The designated hitter was immediately plated on the next at-bat thanks to Daniel Nava's homer into Red Sox bullpen. It took the DH 1,002 games to reach his first 1,000 hits (hitting 218 homers), and 946 games to accomplish the latest milestone (with 208 home runs). Also homering for the hosts were Stephen Drew, Jacoby Ellsbury, Nava, Ryan Lavarnway, Mike Napoli and Will Middlebrooks. It was just the fourth time in team history the Red Sox have hit as many as seven homers in a game at Fenway Park. Besides Ortiz' pair of blasts, perhaps the most notable was what would be Middlebrooks'€™ second career grand slam (the fifth of the season for the Sox). Middlebrooks'€™ sixth-inning blast '€“ coming on reliever Al Alburquerque'€™s second pitch -- sailed well over the left-field wall and pushed the Sox'€™ lead up to six runs. The third baseman had been just 1-for-11 with the bases full this season, although the Red Sox as a team had compiled the third-most hits with the sacks full of any team in the bigs prior to the grand slam. By night's end, 20 of the 25 Red Sox batters who reached base scored. Here is what went right (and wrong) for the Red Sox: WHAT WENT RIGHT -- Ryan Dempster turned a solid enough of an outing, allowing four runs on six hits over six innings in picking up his eighth win of the season. The righty, who threw 100 pitches, struck out seven while walking two. -- Shane Victorino made one of the best catches of the season in the fourth inning, leaping into the stands along the third-base line to rob Austin Jackson. The right fielder leaped in the air just before grabbing the pop-up and proceeded to fall into the fans while holding on to the ball to end the visitors half of the frame. Detroit had runners on first and third at the time. -- Victorino gave the Red Sox a one-run lead with another hustle play in the fifth, tagging up on a line drive to left fielder Andy Dirks. Despite the ball being hit with little elevation to mid-range left by Dustin Pedroia, the combination of Victorino'€™s speed and a head-first slide was enough to beat the throw. The outfielder was also hit by two more pitches, tying him for the team-lead with Nava with 14. -- With two outs in the second, Drew took advantage of a low and inside slider from Rick Porcello, lifting a bomb over the right-field foul pole for the first two runs of the game. An inning later, Ellsbury tied the game with a solo homer, also to right. The Red Sox came into the game 9-1 in games in which Drew had homered, and 6-0 in games Ellsbury went deep. -- Ortiz's homer -- a line shot over both bullpens -- was his first long ball since Aug. 18 (12 games), a stretch in which the DH had hit .167. -- Mike Carp accounted for the Red Sox'€™ seventh bases-loaded walk of the season, forcing in Nava with the hosts'€™ sixth run. -- After subbing in for Pedroia at second base, newly acquired John McDonald made a sparkling diving grab on a Prince Fielder grounder up the middle. -- Lavarnway's seventh-inning home run, which was reviewed after initially being ruled a double, was the catcher's first homer at Fenway Park (and fifth of his career). WHAT WENT WRONG -- Not much.