On Wednesday when the Red Sox were rained out on a mid-40 degree day, David Ortiz looked up to the ceiling in the clubhouse and said, "when the weather warms up, Papi warms up."
Well, the weather has warmed up the past few days and so have Ortiz and the Red Sox' bats, especially power wise as they ripped three home runs, including their second grand slam in two days, to beat the Athletics, 6-3 Saturday afternoon at Fenway Park.
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The Red Sox wasted no time as Jonny Gomes smacked a grand slam into the Monster seats in the first inning, giving the Red Sox a quick 4-0 lead -- this after Dustin Pedroia hit one in the sixth inning Friday night. David Ortiz then crushed a 0-2 offering over the A's bullpen in the third inning, increasing the Sox' lead to 5-0. David Ross joined the party in the fourth inning, snapping an 0-for-10 skid with a solo home run of his own.
"Jonny gave us a huge lift in the first on pitch he saw, the first pitch of the day. I think we've shown that when we score first and get a strong start like Jon Lester today, it puts you in command ... I think as warm weather starts to descend here, guys are getting a little more free and easy at the plate."
While the three home runs, including a grand slam were nice, Jon Lester was even better.
Lester was dominant, pitching like the ace everyone saw in the postseason last year as he shutdown the A's in one of his best, if not the best, regular season starts of his career. The left-hander went eight shutout innings, allowing just one hit, walking two and striking out a career-high 15 batters, facing just two batters over the minimum.
Things got interesting in the ninth as Chris Capuano allowed three runs in the inning, the first runs he's allowed this season. Koji Uehara was needed to come on to pick up his seventh save of the season, although he allowed an inherited runner to score.
The two teams will wrap up their weekend series tomorrow afternoon (1:35, NESN) when John Lackey will go up against Sonny Gray.
What they'll be saying: Saturday's start by Lester was special from start to finish. Since 2003 only two other major league starters have struck out 15 while allowing one hit or less in and outing (Yu Darvish and Brandon Morrow). The 15 strikeouts are the most ever by a left-hander pitcher in Red Sox history. He also became the first lefty starter with 15 strikeouts and allowing one hit since Randy Johnson in 1997 ... There are signs the offense is coming around as they have scored at least five runs in eight of their last ten games.