10-Run 7th Inning Lifts Red Sox Past Padres
Facing his former team was just another game for Adrian Gonzalez. His current team's 10-run inning was something special.
Gonzalez drove in three runs with a single and double in the big seventh inning and the hot-hitting Boston Red Sox rolled to a 14-5 win over the struggling San Diego Padres on Monday night.
"I had fun with it. I have fun out there every day," said Gonzalez, who leads the majors with 67 RBIs and a .353 batting average. "It was good to see them before the game and catch up with them, but once the game started, it was all about playing the game."
The Red Sox have been playing it better than any other team the past 21/2 weeks.
They are 14-2 since June 3. They scored at least 10 runs for the fifth time in nine games and lead the majors with a .277 batting average.
"I don't really know the stats," Dustin Pedroia said. "We're just out there playing. We're trying to win games. We know we have a great offense. We're just trying to put it all together and we've been doing that the past few weeks."
The Red Sox had only five hits in the 10-run inning. Three runs scored on two hit batsmen and a walk with the bases loaded. But the biggest play almost ended up as a double play.
Cory Luebke (1-2) had struck out six of his nine batters heading into the seventh.
"I felt fine," he said. "(My) last inning the ball was coming up a little bit. No matter how many pitches you've been out there for, you can't walk the leadoff hitter. I kind of started the mess there."
Jacoby Ellsbury drew that walk. Pedroia then hit a bouncer to second baseman Orlando Hudson but hustled down the line to narrowly avoid a double play. Gonzalez followed with a tiebreaking double.
"That seventh inning was all created by Pedey getting to first base," said Gonzalez, traded in the offseason for three prospects because the Padres couldn't offer him a lucrative contract. "If he was not able to stay away from the double play and get down the line, my double doesn't score a run. ... After that, the guys just continued to have quality at-bat after quality at-bat."
Matt Albers (2-3) pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings to get the decision as the AL East-leading Red Sox remained 11/2 games ahead of the New York Yankees.
San Diego, last in the majors with a .233 batting average, lost its season-high sixth straight game.
"Some soft hits, walks and hit by pitches," Padres manager Bud Black said of the 10-run inning. "We just tried to stop the bleeding and couldn't."
Gonzalez's double made it 4-3. After Kevin Youkilis flied out, the Red Sox scored nine more runs.
David Ortiz was walked intentionally and J.D. Drew walked, loading the bases. Ernesto Frieri then hit the next two batters - Marco Scutaro and Jason Varitek - to make it 6-3. Josh Reddick tacked on a two-run double, and Pedroia walked with the bases loaded. Gonzalez drove in two more with a base hit and Youkilis had a two-run double.
It was the most runs for the Red Sox in a single inning since they scored 12 in the sixth in a 13-3 win over Cleveland on May 7, 2009. The team record is 17 runs in the seventh against Detroit on June 18, 1953.
The previous biggest inning for the Red Sox this season was seven runs in three games, the last on June 11 at Toronto.
"We had 13 hits and they had 14 and we lost by nine runs," Black said after watching his pitchers walk nine batters. "You can't walk guys in this park."
Boston scored single runs in the first, third and fourth off Wade LeBlanc. San Diego tied it in the sixth on a three-run homer by Hudson off Andrew Miller, the sixth overall pick in the 2006 draft. He made his first appearance of the season after being called up on Sunday from Triple-A Pawtucket.
"There's a lot to be encouraged about," Boston manager Terry Francona said. He "just made a bad pitch and paid for it."
Boston added another run, on a bases-loaded walk to Ellsbury, in the eighth.
This program aired on June 21, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.