Middlebrooks' 3 homers fuel Red Sox

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 07, 2013
Will Middlebrooks hit three home runs, two off NL CY Young Award winner R.A. Dickey, and the Boston Red Sox routed the Toronto Blue Jays 13-0 Sunday. Middlebrooks went 4 for 5 with four RBIs. He hit two home runs off Dickey, a two-run shot to right in the first inning and a solo drive into the second deck in left in the fifth. He connected again off Dave Bush with a leadoff longball to left in the seventh, the first three homer game of his career. Middlebrooks, who doubled and scored in the third, flied out to the warning track in his final at-bat in the eighth. Mike Napoli added a two-run shot, and Jacoby Ellsbury and Daniel Nava also went deep as the Red Sox connected for six homers and set season highs for runs and hits (15), one day after getting just two hits in a 5-0 loss and set season highs for runs and hits (15), one day after collecting just two hits in a 5-0 loss. Nava went back-to-back with Middlebrooks in the seventh, a homer that bounced off the top of the wall in center field and went out. It's the first time this season the Red Sox have hit consecutive home runs. Ellsbury had three hits, including a leadoff homer into the second deck in right in the eighth, his first. Three batters later, Napoli capped the rout with a home run to center, his second. He finished with four RBIs. Boston jumped on Dickey in the first, scoring five runs before the knuckleballer had recorded an out. Ellsbury led off with a double, Shane Victorino singled to center and Dustin Pedroia drove in a run with a groundball single through the right side. Napoli hit a two-run double and Middlebrooks followed with a first pitch homer to right. Even the outs Dickey got were loud. Nava and Jarrod Saltalamacchia each flied out to the warning track before Jackie Bradley Jr. struck out to end the inning. Dickey (0-2) allowed eight runs - seven earned - and 10 hits in 4 2-3 innings. It was his shortest start and the most runs he'd allowed since giving up eight runs in 4 1-3 innings of a 14-6 loss at Atlanta last April 18, when he pitched for the New York Mets. The five first inning runs allowed by Dickey matched the amount he gave up in the first inning in all of 2012, when he made 33 starts. Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester (2-0) allowed five hits, all singles, in seven shutout innings. He walked none and struck out six, improving to 6-2 with a 2.13 ERA in his past nine starts at Rogers Centre. Clayton Mortensen pitched the final two innings for Boston. Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista was held out of the starting lineup, the third straight game he's missed with a sore right ankle. The two-time major league home run leader twisted his ankle stepping on first base while beating out a double play in the eighth inning last Thursday. Notes: Red Sox DH David Ortiz (right heel) is set to play in extended spring training games starting Monday and could begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket as early as Thursday, manager John Farrell said. ... Boston SS Stephen Drew (concussion) will play two more games with Double-A Portland before rejoining the team in time for Wednesday's game against Baltimore. ... Lester had to jump out of the way of Edwin Encarnacion's shattered bat in the fourth. Encarnacion grounded to short on the play. ... The Red Sox open their home schedule at Fenway Park on Monday afternoon. RHP Clay Buchholz faces Baltimore LHP Wei-Yin Chen.
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