- 134 wins
- 118 wins
Not only did the Red Sox and their enlivened lineup flatten the Phillies, 12-2, but they handed Moyer what was arguably the worst start of his career. And for a man who has now made 621 starts, that is saying something.
It was just the fifth start in Moyer's career that he recorded three outs or fewer and the first such occasion since July 4, 1998, at Texas.
The Red Sox looked as if they were still taking batting practice when the game started, bombarding Moyer with a five-spot in the first and another four in the second.
"Well, we started early and it's a good way to play," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "We had a real good approach to Moyer -- he didn't see us pulling a lot of balls foul. [We] squared up balls in the middle of the field, and when we scored the five, we came back in the next inning and kept at it. It's really a good way to play. You score first and then you add on."
In the first, they got wall doubles by Victor Martinez, David Ortiz and Adrian Beltre and capped the five-run frame when Mike Lowell smashed a two-run shot to the back of the Monster Seats.
They continued their bang-bang treatment of Moyer in the second. Marco Scutaro set the table with a single. Dustin Pedroia, Martinez and Ortiz cleared it with consecutive doubles. Mercifully, that was all for Moyer, who allowed nine runs and nine hits over one-plus inning.
"You have to minimize the damage, and to give up fives and fours, it's not real pleasant," Moyer said. "In this ballpark, you're going to give up runs, but you have to be able to stop the bleeding. Tonight I just didn't have that ability to do so. I didn't bring what I had in the bullpen to the game."
By the mid-innings, both teams were deep in substitution mode, giving players a chance to rest for Saturday's 4:10 p.m. ET contest. For the night, the Red Sox had eight doubles -- a season high -- and 17 hits.
With all the runs to work with, Red Sox righty John Lackey cruised with his best outing in recent weeks. Over seven innings, Lackey (7-3, 4.54 ERA) gave up six hits and two runs, walking none and striking out three.
"It was nice, for sure," said Lackey. "Guys came out really swinging the bats well and definitely allowed me to use a little bit more of the plate and be pretty aggressive."
Aggression was something the Red Sox had in all facets of the game in this one. The offensive onslaught started from the very top of the order. Leadoff man Scutaro produced three hits and scored twice. Ortiz snapped a 1-for-27 slump with three hits, two runs, two doubles and four RBIs. Martinez continued to swing a red-hot bat, peppering a pair of doubles.
"They were hitting, man," said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel. "Everything they hit, it seemed like it was on the Monster. They definitely got a few doubles. I think they were trying to run their doubles totals up, get their team batting average up on us. That's kind of what it looked like."
The Red Sox were just looking for a win, after completing their road trip with two straight losses at Cleveland. By accomplishing that goal, Boston improved to 36-27, slicing its deficit in the American League East to four games.
"It was pretty clear that we were clicking on a lot of cylinders today," said Lowell, who made a spot start at first in place of Kevin Youkilis (back spasms). "We were stringing a lot of hits together, especially those first three runs, and built up a pretty good cushion. I thought Lackey did a pretty good job. It's not the easiest thing to stay within your game plan when you have such a big lead, but he was really efficient and I thought he threw really well."
And Lowell took a big early swing, as the homer was his second of the season and first since April 21.
"Yeah, he took a good swing," said Francona. "That was good. He's been working hard. I know how he feels about playing. But he's been taking extra BP when we've had it early, and he was obviously ready to hit and good for him -- and good for us."
There was all kinds of good to go around for the Red Sox on this Friday night. They scored 12 runs over the first three innings, didn't have a run for the rest of the night and still won by double digits.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.