BOSTON -- After the two best offenses in the American League combined for just six combined runs in the first two games of the series, it was to be expected offense would be aplenty in the series finale between the Red Sox and Tigers Wednesday night. It held true, but no one saw the Red Sox' offense outburst coming in their 20-4 rout of the Tigers at Fenway Park. The Red Sox took two-of-three from the Tigers.
With the Sox trailing 4-3 after the top half of the fourth inning, the Red Sox scored 17 straight runs to break the game open against the leaders of the AL Central. The big inning was the eight-run sixth, led by Will Middlebrooks' grand slam and David Ortiz collecting his 2,000th career hit, an RBI double to center. The Red Sox hit eight home runs, setting a season-high and tying a club record for homers in a game. Ortiz homered twice, with Middlebrooks, Daniel Nava, Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Napoli, Stephen Drew and Ryan Lavarnway each collecting a homer in the win. The seven different players to homer in the game also set a club record.
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"I don't think I've ever been apart of one like that with the number of balls that left the ballpark," manager John Farrell said. "The ball was carrying here tonight obviously and the lead changed hands a couple of times until we get to the sixth and Will's [Middlebrooks] hits the grand slam to give us a little breathing room and we kept going. A big night for David [Ortiz], obviously a milestone for him, a great career. It was great to see the reception and ovation he received and rightfully so."
Although Ryan Dempster didn't have his best stuff, he was able to battle and keep the Red Sox in the game to pick up his eighth win of the year. Dempster went six innings allowing four runs on six hits, while striking out seven. He seemed to get stronger as his outing went along as he retired the last five hitters he faced, including striking out the side in the sixth. Brandon Workman, Franklin Morales and Rubby De La Rosa each pitched a scoreless inning in relief of Dempster.
The Red Sox will now travel to New York for a four-game set with the Yankees over the weekend beginning tomorrow night (7:10, NESN) where Jake Peavy will go up against Ivan Nova.
What they'll be saying: The Red Sox needed a game for their offense to break out of their recent mini-slump, and this was more than they could have ever asked for as the 20 runs scored were the most scored in a game since 2003 and their win by 16 runs was the biggest since a 17-1 win in 2005 over the Rays ... Ortiz is one of three active players with 2,000 career hits, the others are Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols. It was also his 41st career multi-homer game, and 39th as a member of the Red Sox, extending his team-record ... Nava has now reached base in 39 straight starts, which is the longest active streak in the majors and third longest streak overall in the AL this season behind Miguel Cabrera (44 games) and Mike Trout (40 games).