Two consecutive slugfests. It was our biggest consecutive barrage since we scored fifteen runs in consecutive games in July in 1998. Rain kept us from playing the ninth inning (there was a fifty-five minute delay before the game was called), but I don’t think anybody really thought it mattered. I think the Tigers at that point just wanted to be anywhere but the ballpark.
Aceves turned in another impressive spot start. In fact, his line was very similar to Lester’s on Wednesday. (In fact, obviously, the entire game was similar to Wednesday’s game.) Six innings, one run on five hits, who walks, and six K’s on ninety-eight pitches, sixty-five for strikes. I’m telling you, if Aceves continues at this rate, either Dice-K or Lackey is going to have to join the bullpen when one of them returns.
Nobody scored in the first inning. Then we put up a five-spot in the second inning. Papi and Crawford singled back-to-back. Sutton doubled in Papi. Reddick, who’s in for Drew, who’s out with a right hamstring issue, singled in Crawford. Tek struck out swinging, and then Ellsbury walloped a three-run blast to right field on a hanging slider. Three runs in on one swing, and the kid’s not even a power hitter.
The Tigers would have been lucky if we scored twice as many runs as we did in the second and stopped there. But we had no intention of doing so. The third opened with a single by Youk and a walk by Papi, followed by a two-run triple for Crawford. We went down in order in the fourth and sent up only one above the minimum in the fifth, thanks to another walk by Papi. The sixth opened with two consecutive singles followed by two consecutive strikeouts followed by a run scoring on a fielding error. Papi led off the seventh with a double and came home on yet another triple by Crawford.
And lastly, the eighth. Ellsbury walked on four pitches to start things off. Pedroia doubled him in. Gonzalez singled him in. Youk and Papi provided the first two outs of the inning before Crawford singled, moving Gonzalez to third. Gonzalez came home on a double by Sutton, who came home with Crawford on a single by Reddick. Tek flied out for the third out of the inning and what ended up being the final out of the game. Albers had pitched a solid eighth, and Atchison never even had a chance to get out there.
This time, every single member of the starting lineup got a hit. Our first four and ninth hitters each had one each. Sutton went two for five with two doubles and is really making some waves. Papi went two for three with a double and two walks. Reddick went three for five. But the crown jewel of the night was again Carl Crawford, who went four for five with two triples, two runs, and three RBIs. This after a perfect plate performance one triple shy of the cycle. Over the course of just two days, he raised his batting average by .32. It was the first time he’d ever collected four hits in consecutive games. Nobody in a Boston uniform has done it since Pedroia during his MVP year in 2008.
In total, sixteen hits, seven left on base, and nine for twenty-one with runners in scoring position. The final score was 14-1. We have the best record in the Major Leagues in the month of May: seventeen and seven. Oh, and by the way, we’re in first place! Finally! I mean, we’re tied for first place with the Yankees of all teams, who technically lead us in winning percentage because we have one more loss than they do, but still. It’s better than second place, and it’s way better than fifth place.