Sox complete Chicago domination
Tavarez superb in win as team scores 46 runs in four-game set
CHICAGO -- It was not easy for the Red Sox to pack up and leave the Windy City late Sunday afternoon. Forget, for a minute, that Chicago has some of the great eateries on the Major League Baseball circuit. The real feast for the Red Sox took place in the batter's box, where they put on a historic display during their stay.
Getaway day was another day of heavy hitting for the Red Sox, who completed their four-game sweep with a 11-1 victory that featured home runs off the bats of J.D. Drew, David Ortiz and Bobby Kielty.
The Red Sox outscored the White Sox to the tune of 46-7 in the series, coming up with 10 runs or more in each game.
It was Boston's highest scoring output in a four-game series since June 23-26, 1949, when they also scored 46 against the St. Louis Browns.
"I don't know that I'm a big 'wow' [person]," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "Maybe at the end of the year. I'll tell you what though, we did a good job. I'll tell you what it is -- gratifying."
The last time the Red Sox scored double digit runs in four successive games came June 2-5, 1950, when they scored 51 runs against the Indians and Senators.
The last time the Red Sox scored at least 10 runs in all four games of a series? Never.
In fact, this was just the fourth time it's been done in the Major Leagues since 1900. The other bashers to accomplish the feat are the St. Louis Browns (1920 and 1922) and the 1996 Colorado Rockies.
"We caught them playing good and they caught us playing bad," said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen.
It was an offensive barrage the likes of which Drew hadn't seen since his days at Florida State.
"Well, you know, in college that happens a lot when you start out early in the season playing teams that aren't so good, or teams that are stuck up north for the winter," said Drew.
There was also a superb pitching performance from Julian Tavarez, who continues to deliver solid spot starts whenever Francona asks him for one.
Over six innings, Tavarez allowed but two hits and a run, walking three and matching a season-high with seven strikeouts. The rubber-armed righty improved to 7-9 and lowered his ERA to 4.84.
"That's the best Julian has thrown the ball all year," said Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek. "He pitched in to the lefties. It just opened up the whole plate for him."
SOUTH SIDE SWEEP
|With a four-game sweep against the White Sox, the Red Sox are 6-1 on their 10-game, three-city road trip. The Red Sox are 10-4 since Aug. 13 and head into a three-game showdown with the Yankees holding a 7 1/2-game lead in the American League East.|
The Red Sox arrived here with a five-game lead in the American League East, and left with a commanding 7 1/2-game edge over the Yankees heading into a three-game series in the Bronx, which starts Tuesday night.
"It's nice," said Drew. "I think guys have been playing well, we've been pitching well and the Yankees have definitely been playing well. But to make up a few games going in there, it works out well."
Before all the stats started adding up on Sunday, the most noteworthy occurrence of the day was the first-inning solo shot by Drew, considering it was his first home run since June 20, snapping career-high droughts of 51 games and 166 at-bats.
"It felt good," said Drew. "Just try to stick with what I've been doing over the last three or four weeks and stay through the middle of the ball and see what happens. It worked out that it got up in the air and got out. It felt good."
Did someone say Ortiz was having a hard time going deep this season? It was by no means an issue over the weekend as Sunday's blast -- which sailed over the fence in left-center for a two-run shot in the fifth -- was Ortiz's third in the last three games. It was No. 24 on the season for Big Papi.
Kielty's homer to right in the sixth was his first since Sept. 19, 2006. It came on a day Kielty spotted Manny Ramirez in the lineup. And also on a day Kielty was batting left-handed, instead of his stronger side.
"He put a charge on the ball from the left side," said Francona. "He likes to play. He's been a great addition for our ballclub."
All in all, it was quite the Windy City weekend for the rolling Red Sox.
"To score runs, that's a good feeling," said Lowell. "We're doing a good job."
By the time it was over, Guillen probably would have been willing to drive the Red Sox to the airport.
"Boston is the team to beat this year in the American League," Guillen said.
By the time October rolls around, the Red Sox hope to make Guillen's statement stand up.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.