The Colorado Rockies returned to Fenway Park Tuesday night for the first time since Game 2 of the 2007 World Series.
That game was a one-run thriller and hits were hard to come by. That was not the case this time. On a steamy summer night, the Sox beat the Rockies, 11-4, before a crowd of 36,286.
The Sox had 20 hits, a season high. Every starter had at least one.
Dustin Pedroia was 3 for 5 with four runs batted in, a season high. In the last game between the teams, on June 24, 2010, Pedroia was 5 for 5 with a double, three home runs, and five RBIs and joked afterward that he would get arrested if he ever returned to Denver.
On the day the Red Sox demoted former third baseman Will Middlebrooks to the minors, new third baseman Jose Iglesias was 3 for 5 with a double and one RBI.
Iglesias has reached base safely in 27 consecutive games, the longest streak for a Red Sox rookie since Trot Nixon had 27 straight in 1999. Iglesias is now hitting .434 and has 12 extra-base hits in 34 games.
Jacoby Ellsbury had three hits and scored three runs. He is 12 of his last 26, raising his batting average from .278 to .294.
Ryan Dempster was the winning pitcher, going six strong innings before three relievers finished up.
The Sox have won five of their last six games at Fenway. Tuesday was the first of a nine-game homestand.
The Rockies are 2-6 on a road trip that has included stops in Toronto and Washington.
Rockies starter Juan Nicasio was facing the Red Sox for the first time in his career. It didn’t go well as the righthander lasted only 2⅓ innings and allowed seven runs on 12 hits.
The Sox took a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Ellsbury led off with a double and moved to third when Shane Victorino was credited with a sacrifice bunt on what looked like an attempt at a hit.
Pedroia singled in the first run. Nicasio then walked David Ortiz and Mike Napoli to load the bases for Daniel Nava. His soft single to left scored Pedroia.
Nicasio limited the damage in the first, then retired the first two batters in the second before the next five Red Sox reached base.
Victorino, Pedroia, and Ortiz had consecutive doubles to score two runs. Napoli’s single gave the Red Sox a 5-1 lead.
Nicasio did not survive the third inning. Singles by Iglesias, Ellsbury, Victorino, and Pedroia accounted for two runs with an error by Michael Cuddyer in right field adding to the mess for Colorado.
Adam Ottavino came in and left two runners stranded.
Stephen Drew got in the act in the fourth inning with a booming triple off the top of the wall in center field. Red Sox manager John Farrell thought it was a home run and requested a video replay that was granted.
Drew lost the replay but scored when Iglesias doubled off the wall in left.
The Sox made it 10-4 in the seventh inning against Manny Corpas, the second Colorado reliever.
Iglesias slammed a ball off the wall so hard he was held to a single. Ellsbury also singled before the runners moved up on a Victorino groundout.
Pedroia added to his night with a line drive sacrifice fly to center. After Ortiz was intentionally walked, Napoli singled in Ellsbury. That gave him 52 RBIs on the season.
For a change, Dempster enjoyed the insurance of run support. Before Tuesday, the Red Sox had scored three runs or fewer in 11 of the 15 games Dempster had started this season.
Dempster (5-8) cruised through six innings, allowing two runs on six hits. He walked two and struck out four.
Dempster’s record is not reflective of his value. He has gone at least six innings in 11 of his 16 starts and his 95⅓ innings are the second-most on the team and only six fewer than Jon Lester.
In his last six starts, Dempster has a 3.40 earned run average.