BOSTON -- With Alfredo Aceves making a spot start for the Red Sox, the team looked to the offensive to pick up the slack, which is exactly what they did. The Red Sox scored six runs in the first three innings, leading the way to a 9-3 win over the Phillies Monday night at Fenway Park in the Red Sox' first interleague series of the season. It was the fourth straight win for the Sox and are now 25-3 when scoring five runs or more in a game.
The Red Sox roughed up Phillies starter Tyler Cloyd, tagging him with six runs on nine hits in just 2 1/3 innings of work. The Sox scored three runs in both the first and third innings. Dustin Pedroia and Mike Napoli both homered in the first and three doubles in the third (David Ortiz, Napoli, Jacoby Ellsbury) led to three more Sox runs and Cloyd's departure. The Red Sox added two more in the fifth to account for the seventh and eighth runs, before adding a run in the eighth for the final run.
"I thought we had an outstanding approach not only against Cloyd, but seemingly every guy that came to the mound tonight, including in the eighth inning when we had two quick outs and we got the base hit from [Pedro] Ciriaco and then three straight walks," manager John Farrell said. "Guys are not giving at-bats away, I thought we used the opposite field really well particularly in the early innings, and overall just a good offensive night."
Ellsbury paced the offense with three hits, while Ortiz, Napoli, Stephen Drew and Jarrod Saltalamacchia each had two hits apiece in the 15-hit attack.
It turned out Aceves didn't need much offensive support as he was very impressive tossing six innings, allowing one run on seven hits while striking out four. It was his first start with the Red Sox since allowing eight runs in 3 1/3 innings in a 13-0 loss on April 23 before being sent down to Triple-A Pawtucket. Clayton Mortensen allowed a run in 1 1/3 innings of relief, before Andrew Miller came in and also allowed a run in 2 2/3 innings to complete the win.
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The teams will play the second game of their four-game series tomorrow night (7:10, NESN) where Ryan Dempster will get the call for the Red Sox and be opposed by Cliff Lee before the series shifts to Philadelphia for the remaining two games Wednesday and Thursday.
What they'll be saying: The Red Sox have now won 10 of their last 13 and are one of the hottest teams in all of baseball. With the win and a Yankees loss the Red Sox move into sole possession of first place in the AL East and are also now 12 games over .500, which matches a season-high ... Aceves pitched better than anyone could have expected in his longest outing since May of 2011. Aceves did not speak to the media following the game and his locker appeared to be cleaned out. With the Sox likely to add Franklin Morales to the roster, it is possible Aceves was again demoted to Triple-A Pawtucket and thus the reason for him leaving the park early.