Rapid reaction: Red Sox 10, Orioles 4

July, 7, 2011

BOSTON -- The long ball propelled the Boston Red Sox to a 10-4 victory over the Baltimore Orioles Thursday night at Fenway Park.

Boston’s Dustin Pedroia, Adrian Gonzalez, Jacoby Ellsbury, David Ortiz, Josh Reddick and Jarrod Saltalamacchia all provided a home run to help the Sox take the first game of this four-game set.

Ortiz, Reddick and Saltalamacchia hit back-to-back-to-back solo homers in the bottom of the seventh inning. It was the first time since Aug. 13, 2010 at Texas that the Red Sox hit three consecutive home runs when Ortiz, Adrian Beltre and J.D. Drew accomplished the feat.

Fast-forward to Thursday night.

Pedroia got things going with a three-run blast over the Monster in the bottom of the third inning. His ninth homer of the season gave the Red Sox a 3-2 lead.

Gonzalez absolutely demolished an opposite-field solo shot to left-center field in the bottom of the fifth to give Boston a 5-3 advantage. It was his 17th round-tripper of the season.

The long ball didn’t end there.

For the second time in as many nights, Ellsbury launched a shot well beyond the Pesky Pole down the right-field line. It was his 11th of the season and the two-run homer gave Boston a 7-3 lead.

It continued.

Ortiz crushed a solo shot to deep center field for his 18th of the season to give Boston an 8-3 advantage.

Guess what? There were more.

Reddick turned on a pitch and drove it deep into the tunnel behind the visitors' bullpen in right field for his second of the season to give the Sox a 9-3 lead.

And just for good measure, Saltalamacchia made it three in a row with his sixth of the season for a 10-3 lead.

In case you were wondering, the wind was not blowing out at Fenway Thursday night. The American flag was wrapped around its pole for the majority of the night.

LIKE A CAT: Saltalamacchia also provided a solid defensive game behind the plate Thursday night. Time and again he was bouncing around the back of the batter’s box, blocking ball after ball, and in the process saved a couple of possible runs early in the game with starter Andrew Miller on the mound.

SPEAKING OF: Miller improves to 3-0 in four starts for the Red Sox this season. The left-hander worked five innings and allowed three runs on six hits with four walks and no strikeouts. He threw 97 pitches, 56 for strikes.

UNUSUAL BLUNDER: It’s unusual to see Ellsbury get caught in a base-running miscue. He led off the bottom of the first inning with a walk, and then with one out, Adrian Gonzalez lined a shot to center. The ball one-hopped the Orioles’ Adam Jones and Ellsbury hesitated as he rounded second before deciding to head to third. Jones came up firing and got Ellsbury in plenty of time for the out.

DEFENSIVE GEM: Ellsbury turned in another web gem when he robbed the Orioles’ Vladimir Guerrero of a hit with a tremendous running grab to record the first out in the top of the fifth inning. Guerrero drilled one to deep left-center field as Ellsbury covered a lot of real estate and made the catch at the wall.

MOMENT OF SILENCE: The Red Sox held a moment of silence prior to the game for the passing of former manager Dick Williams. Prior to the top of the fourth inning, a tribute to the 1967 team was shown on the video board in honor of Williams.

UP NEXT: The Red Sox and Orioles play the second game of this four-game set Friday at Fenway with the Red Sox sending right-hander Josh Beckett (7-3, 2.12 ERA) to the mound against Baltimore lefty Zach Britton (6-6, 3.47).

Joe McDonald

ESPN Staff Writer



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