Ross' two homers, six RBIs lead an outfield onslaught

Ross' two homers, six RBIs lead an outfield onslaught

Ross' two homers, six RBIs lead an outfield onslaught
BOSTON -- The Red Sox are reaping the benefits of the outfield they've been waiting for all year.

Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, left fielder Carl Crawford and right fielder Cody Ross started together for just the second time this season on Wednesday. The trio sparked a 10-1 win over the White Sox at Fenway Park.

Ross delivered the biggest blows of the evening, a pair of three-run homers over the Green Monster. It was his third multi-home run game of the year and the 10th of his career. He nearly had a third homer in the sixth inning but just missed and settled for a double.

"I thought I got it, I got a little excited, definitely, to say the least," said Ross, who had a season-high six RBIs.

Ellsbury doubled to lead off the first against Pedro Hernandez, making his Major League debut, and had three hits with three runs. In three games playing alongside Crawford, the two have set the table for the Red Sox from the top of the lineup.

In six games since returning from a separated shoulder on Friday, Ellsbury is hitting .407 (11-for-27) with three doubles and five runs from the leadoff spot.

Crawford continued to produce in just his third game of the year. He singled and scored in the third inning on Ross' first bomb. Since returning from elbow surgery on Monday, Crawford is 5-for-10 with six runs and three steals.

"Just having Jacoby and Carl back has been huge for us," Ross said. "They're getting on base and creating havoc on the basepaths. It's just nice to be able to have them table set."

Playing without slugger David Ortiz for the second straight game, the Red Sox pounded out 14 hits and scored in double digits for the 13th time this year.

"We had a good day at the plate, a lot of guys," Crawford said. "We know we have to pick up the slack with Papi being out. It was good to see."

With Crawford back in the fold, the Red Sox are 2-1 to open a seven-game homestand. Clay Buchholz is scheduled to start in the series finale vs. Chicago on Thursday.

As the outfield begins to take shape, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez has rediscovered his power. He lifted an opposite-field homer into the Monster Seats in the fourth inning following Ross' second jack. It was the fifth time this year Boston has hit back-to-back homers. Gonzalez added an RBI single in the first and a two-run single in the sixth for a four-RBI night.

Gonzalez has hit safely in 22 of his last 23 games, with the lone exception July 8 vs. the Yankees when he left the game with flu-like symptoms after one at-bat. Over that span, Gonzalez is hitting .404 (38-for-94) with three homers and 19 RBIs.

"He's driving runs in, he's using the whole field, he's hitting all pitches, fouling off the tough ones," manager Bobby Valentine said. "He looks like the real Adrian Gonzalez right at the right time."

Backed by solid run support, Red Sox starter Felix Doubront shut down the White Sox over six strong innings. The left-hander allowed one run on four hits, striking out two against three walks for his 10th win.

He joins Jon Lester as the second Boston pitcher 24 years old or younger to reach double-digit wins in a season since Roger Clemens went 20-9 in 1987 at age 24.

"Since I came to Spring Training I've been working so hard to be here and be in this spot," Doubront said. "I'm just working to get more wins."

The Red Sox got what they expected from Doubront, who improved to 5-0 with a 2.76 ERA following a Boston loss.

Doubront gave up his only run in the first inning, following a 14-minute rain delay at the start of the game. Boston starters have allowed at least one run in the first inning at Fenway Park in 10 straight games for a total of 24 runs. But he settled in as the game progressed and held Chicago scoreless over his final five frames.

"He got better after he got that big lead and that's what you're supposed to do," said White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, who singled to drive in that first-inning run. "He's got good stuff. His ball moves, nothing's really straight, he's got some weapons up there. You give a guy like that a big lead, that's the way it goes."

Ross' 10 total bases tied Will Middlebrooks for the most in a game for a Red Sox player this season. Middlebrooks did it on May 7 at Kansas City. Fenway Park certainly suits Ross, who has 10 homers and 31 RBIs at home compared to five homers and 16 RBIs on the road.

"The way my swing has developed over time I had a good feeling that this would be a good spot for me," said Ross, in his first year with Boston. "My swing path will create that lift that will allow me to hit a lot of fly balls and this is a great place to hit for a right-handed pull hitter."

Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.