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Mother’s Day has a good ring to it at Fenway Park. The most memorable game the Sox played was the “Mother’s Day miracle”, when they scored six runs in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles in 2007 for a dramatic win. Sunday’s game between Boston and the Cleveland Indians might not enter that realm of fame, but it was exactly what the home crowd needed: a blowout victory. The Sox opened scored often early and late, all part of a 12-1 win.
The offense rode the pink bats early on against former Sox pitcher Justin Masterson. After David Ortiz earned a two out walk, Adrian Gonzalez doubled on a line to left, putting runners on the corners. Will Middlebrooks delivered with a base hit to left, scoring the first run of the game. Then Daniel Nava doubled off the Green Monster to drive in Gonzalez, making it 2-0 Boston. Cody Ross was drilled by a pitch by Masterson on the ninth pitch of his at bat, loading the bases. The first pitch thrown to catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia was promptly ripped into right field beyond a Cleveland defensive shift, scoring two more runs.
The Red Sox sent nine batters to the plate in the four run inning, forcing Masterson to throw 31 pitches. The quick start was ideal with Daniel Bard on the mound, as again he struggled with his command on Sunday. After two effective innings, he became erratic in the third. The former reliever walked Jack Hannahan with one down, and then issued another free pass to Johnny Damon on four pitches. Jason Kipnis delivered a base hit to load the bases, followed by a run-scoring four pitch walk to Asdrubal Cabrera. Luckily for Bard, a lengthy at bat by Travis Hafner ended in a soft ground ball to second which Dustin Pedroia turned into an inning ending double play. Bard threw 29 pitches in the frame, only 15 for strikes.
Middlebrooks continued his hot hitting with a solo home run in the third inning. The ball carried just to the top of the Monster, falling back into the field of play as the 23-year old. It was his fourth home run of the season as he continues to find success at the plate in the big leagues. Middlebrooks is batting .310 this year, impressing as Kevin Youkilis remains on the disabled list.The Sox tacked on another run in the sixth, when Saltalamacchia lined an RBI base hit to left field which Damon was unable to come up with.
Bard pitched six shaky innings, but he managed to escape jams and limit the Cleveland offense. He allowed just the one run, struck out two, and walked four. He left with a 6-1 lead but any doubts of a win were quickly erased as the Sox went to bat in the seventh. The offense unloaded on reliever Dan Wheeler, touching him for six earned runs as the game got out of hand.
Pedroia got things started with a double. Ortiz drove him in with a base hit. Gonzalez doubled as well to put two runners in scoring position for Middlebrooks. He walked on a wild pitch, advancing the base runners and giving the Sox an 8-1 lead. Then Nava reached base for the fourth time with a 2 RBI double. After a ground out, Saltalamacchia launched his fifth home run of the season deep to center field, giving Boston a 12-1 lead which they would hold on to for the win.
All in all the Sox are still in last place and need all the wins they can get. But this win was great as the team wrapped up their four game series with the first place Indians, coming back from losing the first game to win the series. The Sox are now on a three-game winning streak and will play again tomorrow night as they welcome the Seattle Mariners to town.