Early barrage holds up for Sox sweep

Early barrage holds up for Sox sweep

BOSTON -- The home team's recipe for instant offense, to front the lineup with a pair of red-hot Red Sox, paid dividends again Sunday.

This time, the middle of the order kicked into gear behind J.D. Drew and Dustin Pedroia. The result was a ruined start for San Francisco's Matt Morris and a lead that not even Barry Bonds' awakening at Fenway Park could erase. The Red Sox won, 9-5, holding off a Giants charge that began with Bonds' 748th career home run and sweeping the three-game series.

With no outs in the sixth, Bonds lofted a high shot into the San Francisco bullpen, beyond the outstretched glove of Drew.

"Man, that ball was up there forever," first baseman Kevin Youkilis said. "It got in the jet stream and the way the wind was blowing out there ... it just kept carrying."

Starting pitcher Tim Wakefield said he thought it was "a popup." Drew didn't move when Bonds first connected. He drifted backward, thinking he could catch the high fly.

"And the way the wind was blowing, I was under it about 10 different times at some point," Drew said. "I just couldn't go any further with it."

With the shot, Fenway became the 36th park to witness a Bonds home run. Wakefield, meanwhile, became the 441st pitcher to be victimized by his powerful bat.

Wakefield left after 5 2/3 unspectacular innings, but ultimately protected a three-run lead. He gave up five earned runs and eight hits, including a fourth-inning home run to Pedro Feliz over the Green Monster.

"The ballpark played small today," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "You could see it -- the ball is going to fly. You don't know how many runs is enough."

The Giants scored another run in the sixth before Red Sox pregame callup Manny Delcarmen entered the game and ended the rally with a runner on third.

But Delcarmen ran into trouble when he started the seventh with a pair of walks. With one out, lefty specialist Javier Lopez entered the game to face Bonds, but he walked the Giants star on consecutive pitches.

"That was kind of how we wanted him to pitch him," Francona quipped.

Right-hander Joel Pineiro entered the game and played the hero, escaping a bases-loaded jam by inducing a double-play ball off the bat of Bengie Molina.

"We've just got to pick each other up," Pineiro said.

Drew and Pedroia started the first and third innings by each reaching base. Unsurprisingly, the Red Sox scored a combined seven runs in those two innings, with Youkilis, David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Mike Lowell and Doug Mirabelli contributing RBI hits.

Meanwhile, Ramirez made a bit of history of his own. In the seventh, he blasted a 2-2 pitch into the Green Monster seats, tying Jim Thome and Willie McCovey on the all-time home run and RBI lists, respectively. His 10th home run of the season, the 480th of his career, gave the Red Sox a 9-5 lead.

The shot was the second time Ramirez had gone deep in as many days, the first such instance for the Boston cleanup hitter this season. With Ortiz, who ended his nine-day RBI slumber by lacing two ground-rule doubles into the right-field corner, the middle of the Red Sox order appeared willing and finally able to bury its midseason power slump.

Drew set the tone by roping a curveball into the right-center-field gap to start the game. He burst around the turn, drawing the throw and sliding in, head first, for a double.

"I just thought it was a good opportunity right there," Drew said. "It was in the gap, and I saw where those guys were going and knew I had some good momentum making the turn. So I was just going to take a chance and see what happened."

He and Pedroia scored when Youkilis pounded the base of the wall with a double. Youkilis went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, his first multi-RBI game since May 29.

Ultimately, lineup depth drove the win. Eight players reached base with hits; six scored.

Pineiro likened the experience to playing for the 2001 Seattle Mariners, a 116-win team that did it all.

"It felt like somebody different was doing something new [every game]," Pineiro said. "You were not expecting the one or two guys, like, to win the ballgame or do the right thing.

"It's just every game," he added, "there's somebody out there who does the right thing."

Alex McPhillips is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.