Red Sox roll over Rockies
BOSTON — The last time the Red Sox hosted the Colorado Rockies before Tuesday night, they won the first two games of the 2007 World Series by scores of 13-1 and 2-1 before going on to a sweep.
Tuesday night was more of the same.
Dustin Pedroia had RBI hits in each of the first three innings and added a sacrifice fly in the seventh and Ryan Dempster worked six solid frames to lead Boston to an 11-4 rout in the first game of a two-game inter-league series with the Rockies.
Daniel Nava, Jose Iglesias (hitting .434) and Jacoby Ellsbury all had three hits as the Red Sox, coming off having lost three of four games at Detroit over the weekend, stroked five doubles and a triple and had 12 hits in knocking out Juan Nicasio (4-4) in just 2 1/3 innings.
Boston finished with a season-high 20 hits, everyone in the lineup with at least one.
Dempster (5-8, 10 quality starts, tied for the team lead) had received two runs or less of support in eight of his 15 starts, but that wasn’t the case Tuesday. He gave up a solo homer to Wilin Rosario (No. 12, one of his three hits) in the second and an RBI single to Nolan Arenado in the fourth.
Dempster came in with a 6.96 career ERA against Colorado, his high against any team, but jumped to 5-1 against the Rockies away from Coors Field.
Arenado also had three hits, scoring from first on Shane Victorino’s three-base error in the seventh. Carlos Gonzalez’s two-out RBI single greeted reliever Craig Breslow.
The Rockies, who saw a two-game winning streak stopped and suffered their sixth loss in the last eight games, went 2-1 in a three-game series against the Red Sox in Denver in 2010.
Nicasio, who came in 0-2 in six starts since his fourth win on May 19, labored through 64 pitches in the first two innings as the Red Sox, unable to hit with runners in scoring position over the weekend, came through.
Boston was 3-for-24 in the last two games of the Detroit series, but those troubles basically disappeared as the Sox went 7-for-10 in the first three innings.
Ellsbury opened the first inning with a double, took third on Victorino’s sacrifice bunt and scored on Pedroia’s single. David Ortiz and Mike Napoli both walked and Nava made it 2-0 with a single. Nicasio escaped further trouble, striking out Jarrod Saltalamacchia and getting Stephen Drew to pop out.
After spearing a leadoff liner off the bat of Todd Helton to start the top of the second, Dempster yielded a hefty homer to Rosario.
But in the bottom of the inning with two out and nobody on, the roof caved in on Nicasio.
Victorino, Pedroia and Ortiz hit successive doubles for two runs and Napoli singled to make it 5-1. Napoli took third on Nava’s second hit of the game, but Nicasio escaped by striking out Saltalamacchia.
Nicasio didn’t last much longer.
With one out in the third, Iglesias, Ellsbury and Victorino singled, and Ellsbury scored on right fielder Michael Cuddyer’s error. Pedroia then had his third RBI hit in as many innings to chase Nicasio. Victorino and Pedroia pulled off a double steal as Ortiz struck out against reliever Adam Ottavino before Napoli flied out.
Arenado’s single made it 7-2 in the fourth.
With two out in the bottom of the fourth, Drew hit a drive that bounced on the top of the center-field wall that was ruled in play, with Drew reaching third. The umpires reviewed it, but o replay was not conclusive. Drew scored on a double by Iglesias.
NOTES: Cuddyer’s infield hit in the fourth extended his hitting streak to a career-high 22 games, tied for the second-longest streak in club history. Colorado hitting coach Dante Bichette holds the record of 23. Cuddyer has also reached in 41 straight games, a Rockies season record. ... The Red Sox sent slumping 3B Will Middlebrooks to Triple-A Pawtucket, placed LHP Franklin Morales (pectoral muscle) on the 15-day disabled list and moved C David Ross (concussion) from the 15- to the 60-day DL. The Ross move opened a 40-man roster spot and IF Brandon Snyder was added from Pawtucket. RHP Pedro Beato, sent out over the weekend, was called back to replace Morales. ... Rockies RHPs Rafael Betancourt (groin) and Edgmer Escalona (elbow), both on the DL, each throw 37 pitches of live batting practice. Betancourt expected to return to his closer role Friday and Escaloona appears headed for rehab work. ... Boston RHP Clay Buchholz, also on the DL (neck), hopes to make a rehab start either Sunday or Monday. ... RHP Roy Oswalt, who struck out 11 in his first start with the Rockies, faces John Lackey (4-5) in today’s second game of the two-game series, Oswalt’s first career start against Boston. ... The teams meet again for two more games in Denver on Sept. 24 and 25.