BOSTON -- A batting barrage led by the second three-homer game from Mookie Betts this season was quite a sendoff for the Red Sox as they wrapped up their homestand by dominating the D-backs, 16-2, on Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park. Dustin Pedroia went 5-for-6 and scored three times from the leadoff spot.
The three rockets by Betts, producing eight runs, came in the first five innings, the first two coming off Arizona ace Zack Greinke, who endured one of the worst performances (1 2/3 innings, 10 hits, 9 runs) of his career.
"Yeah, it's pretty spectacular when you see the first couple of innings," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "This is the third time this year he's had home runs in the first couple innings of the ballgame. Second time he's hit three home runs in a game. Just electric bat speed against a very good pitcher in Greinke. Just one heck of a day for Mookie."
Meanwhile, Rick Porcello just keeps rolling, The sinkerballer improved to 16-3 -- and 12-0 at home -- by allowing three hits, one run and no walks over seven crisp innings.
"Guys swung the bats tremendous today against one of the best pitchers in the game," Porcello said. "We got off to a big lead, and I didn't want to mess it up. We just went after it. I tried to throw strikes, tried to get us back in the dugout as quickly as possible. I can't say enough about the way they swung the bats today. It was a lot of fun to watch."
The eight RBIs by Betts (4-for-6) were the most by a Red Sox player since Bill Mueller had nine on July 29, 2003. Betts joined Ted Williams as the only players in Red Sox history to have two three-homer games in the same season. Betts also hit three homers on May 31, and Williams did it twice in roughly a one-month span in 1957.
"It was just one of those days," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "We've all been there. We've all been on the good side, and we've all been on the bad side. And today, we were on the bad side. They were pounding the ball. They hit it hard most of the time, and even when they didn't hit it hard, it was falling. Tough day. Tough day for the pitching staff."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Mookie's missiles Earlier this week, Farrell moved Betts from leadoff to third in the batting order to take advantage of his increase in power. It was on display in full force in this one. The first drive by Betts, a two-run shot, had an estimated distance of 403 feet, according to Statcast™. The second one, a three-run blast confirmed by a crew-chief review, was a liner that just cleared the Monster. The last blast was a majestic three-run shot that smacked off a sign behind the Monster Seats. Betts had two opportunities to tie the Major League record with a fourth homer, but he flied out in the sixth and grounded out in the eighth.
"I mean, they told me, 'Try and swing for it,'" Betts said. "The first couple of times I didn't. If it was going to happen, it was going to happen. I was just trying to get another hit and try and make it a five-hit day like Pedey." More >
Greinke not good: Greinke clearly did not have his best command as he left too many balls over the plate and up in the strike zone. The result was his ugliest outing of the season. This was his second start after being removed from the disabled list. In his first outing after being activated, he allowed three runs over six innings.
"Just seemed like my stuff was really flat today," Greinke said. "Most of the time, guys don't hit my offspeed very good, but they hit all my offspeed pitches today." More >
Pedroia a rally starter: Pedroia's five-hit performance was his second this season and fifth in his career. He is the only player in Red Sox history to have five five-hit games. The second baseman has thrived in the five games since moving to the leadoff spot, going for 11-for-22.
"I like leadoff," Pedroia said. "I've hit there most of my life, so it doesn't matter. I found the barrel. That's it. I got pitches to hit, and I didn't miss them." More >
Porcello's home run: Porcello is in the midst of one of the best winning stretches in the history of Fenway Park. He is the first pitcher to win 12 straight decisions at the historic venue since Jose Santiago from May 14, 1967 to June 27, 1968. He is the first Red Sox pitcher to begin a season 12-0 at home since Dave Ferriss went 13-0 in '46.
"I'm definitely very comfortable pitching here, especially with the way we swing the bats here and play defense," Porcello said. "I enjoy pitching at home." More >
"It makes you feel pretty good. Any time your name is said with his, you know it means you've done something well. He had a great career, and mine's just starting." -- Betts, on his shared milestone with Williams
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How much power does Betts have? He is now tied with David Ortiz for the team lead in homers with 26, and he also has 65 extra-base hits, one more than Ortiz for the MLB lead.
WHAT'S NEXT D-backs:Robbie Ray will get the start Monday night at 6:40 p.m. MST as the D-backs open up a brief three-game homestand against the Mets. Ray's previous start also came against the Mets, and it was a gem as he threw seven scoreless innings.
Red Sox: The Red Sox will make a rare one-day trip to Cleveland for Monday's 1:10 p.m. ET game against the Indians, which is a makeup from the postponement on April 7. Lefty Drew Pomeranz makes his sixth start for Boston, and he is still in search of his first win since the trade from the Padres.