Despite three of their mainstays out of the lineup because of nagging injuries, Boston's offense belted the Indians around during an historic 12-run sixth inning that fueled a 13-3 victory on Thursday night at Fenway Park.
Remarkably, the 12 runs were scored with nobody out, an American League record. It tied a modern Major League record, set by the Brooklyn Dodgers on May 24, 1953, in the eighth inning of a game against the Phillies.
"It was crazy," said Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell. "Twelve runs, let alone 12 guys getting on base [without an out], that's kind of ridiculous. I just think it's one of those fluke things. We put together a lot of good at-bats. It was nice to blow the game open."
And nice to do it with many of the usual suspects reduced to spectator status.
"That's what makes tonight's win big for us," said Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. "A lot of our everyday guys were out of the lineup and we still found a way to score a lot of runs. That's big for us."
The previous AL record was held by the Detroit Tigers, who scored 11 runs without making an out on June 17, 1925, in the sixth inning against the Yankees.
"You're not going to see that very often," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona.
Jason Bay capped the spectacular run of offense with a three-run homer to right. Twelve straight Boston batters reached base before Lowell's grounder to short finally allowed the Indians to come up for air.
The Red Sox trailed, 2-1, before that bottom of the sixth started. Just when it looked like Tim Wakefield might be on his way to a tough-luck loss, the veteran knuckleballer was able to earn the win.
"It's definitely something you don't see every day," said Bay. "Kind of the biggest thing was we did it while Wake was still the pitcher of record, and he pitched well, so he deserved to get a win, so it was nice to do it while he was still in there."
Boston tee party
The Red Sox scored 12 runs before recording an out in the sixth inning Thursday, setting an American League record. The previous AL record of 11 runs without an out was held by the 1925 Detroit Tigers. Here's how the Red Sox did it:
|Lugo||Sowers||Single to LF|
|Bay||Sowers||RBI double to CF|
|Baldelli||Sowers||Two-run single to CF|
|Bailey||Kobayashi||Two-run double to LF|
|Green||Kobayashi||Single to 2B|
|Kottaras||Kobayashi||Two-run single to CF|
|Lugo||Kobayashi||Single to 3B|
|Pedroia||Kobayashi||Two-run single to LF|
|Bay||Herges||Three-run homer to RF|
|Lowell||Herges||Ground out to SS|
|Drew||Herges||Ground out to 2B|
Wakefield has been Boston's best starting pitcher thus far this season, going 4-1 with a 2.92 ERA.
"I felt really good tonight, the ball had good movement," Wakefield said. "I feel very confident. I've been getting deep in games. That's my job here as the fourth or fifth starter."
Wakefield allowed four hits and two runs (one earned) over six innings, walking four and striking out three.
The 12 runs scored by the Red Sox in that sixth were the most by the club since June 27, 2003, when it put a 14-spot on the Marlins in the first inning.
Julio Lugo and Bay both had two hits in the inning. Lugo had two singles, while Bay had an RBI double before delivering that three-run blast.
Rocco Baldelli got two of the runs home with a double. Jeff Bailey also had a two-run double. Backup catcher George Kottaras brought two home with a single. Pedroia ripped a two-run single. The damage was spread between three Indians pitchers -- Jeremy Sowers, Masa Kobayashi and Matt Herges.
Not bad for a makeshift lineup in which Pedroia was the only guy batting in his typical lineup slot, which is second.
"We were scrambling a little bit," Francona said. "David's neck got a little stiff during BP and then after BP, it kept getting stiffer. He was trying to figure out how he was going to look at the pitcher and it wasn't happening. We revamped and everyone did a good job. We chipped in all the way around."
"It was nice," said Lugo. "Every time you have an inning like that, everybody is happy -- fans, coaches, teammates. Everybody was hitting the ball."
The Indians were all too aware of that fact.
"They were too comfortable," Sowers said. "Baseball is about momentum. There is a lot of momentum involved in this game, and unfortunately for 12 straight hitters, we just couldn't seem to get them to falter."
The Red Sox were so caught up in the moment, they weren't quite aware of what they were accomplishing.
"It just seemed like we were on a roll," Pedroia said. "We caught fire at the right time."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.