Cody Ross looked pretty comfortable and very productive hitting in David Ortiz’s usual spot in the lineup.
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Ross hit three-run homers in consecutive innings and Felix Doubront pitched six solid innings, carrying the Boston Red Sox to a 10-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night.
”When you have the guys on base and you have the heart of the order coming up, that puts a lot of pressure on the pitcher,” Ross said. ”Any time you lose a David Ortiz it’s tough to make up for. No one can replace David Ortiz, he’s one of the best hitters in the game.”
On the day Boston put Ortiz on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right Achilles, the first four batters in the order were a combined 10-for-15 with nine runs and 10 RBI through six innings.
Ross did his damage in Ortiz’s customary No. 3 place in the order.
”We’ve been scoring runs with guys on the disabled list and different lineups,” Boston manager Bobby Valentine said.
The Red Sox moved past Texas with the high-scoring night and lead the majors in runs scored.
Doubront has benefited from Boston’s offensive outbursts this season. The Red Sox have averaged 8.38 runs per nine innings in his starts.
”It’s amazing,” he said. ”They’re doing a good job to help me.”
Adrian Gonzalez added a solo homer and drove in four runs, and Jacoby Ellsbury had three hits for Boston.
Paul Konerko had an RBI single and walked twice for the White Sox, who lost for the fourth time in 12 games.
The Red Sox have won two of three in the four-game series, which concludes Thursday night.
Chicago’s Kevin Youkilis went 1-for-4 in his third game against his former team of 7½ seasons. He was traded to the White Sox on June 24.
The 24-year old Doubront (10-4) joined Jon Lester as the only Red Sox to have double-digits wins in a season at 24 or younger since Roger Clemens in 1987. Clemens was 20-9 at 24 and Lester was 24 when he won 16 in 2008.
Left-hander Pedro Hernandez took the loss in his major league debut, giving up eight runs and 12 hits — three homers — in four-plus innings, walking one and striking out two.
”Just one of those days. He’s got good stuff, though,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. ”I think that’s one of the things, you see pieces of it in there, pitches he was making in other counts. He’ll grow from it, learn.”
After the game Hernandez was sent back to Triple-A Charlotte. The club called up left-hander Donnie Veal from Charlotte to take his place.
Ross broke a 1-all tie with his homer in the third. Ellsbury and Carl Crawford opened the inning with singles before Ross hit a drive into the seats above the Green Monster.
With Boston leading 4-1 in the fourth, Ross hit another shot into the Monster seats after Pedro Ciriaco and Ellsbury singled. One pitch later, Gonzalez lofted a drive into the first row of seats in left, making it 8-1.
”Obviously, Cody Ross had a big night there,” Konerko said. ”Got a couple pitches to hit and didn’t miss them.”
Doubront allowed one run and four hits in six innings with three walks and two strikeouts. Three relievers held Chicago hitless in the final three innings.
Chicago went ahead on Konerko’s RBI single in the first, but Boston tied it in the bottom half on Gonzalez’s run-scoring single.
The 23-year old Hernandez was 7-2 in Double-A and pitched two games for Charlotte before getting the start.
NOTES: Ross had his 10th career multihomer, third this season. … First baseman Konerko played his 2,000 career game — all in a White Sox uniform and third-most in club history. Nellie Fox is next with 2,115. ”He’ll get his number retired (with Chicago),” Ventura said. ”No way around it.” … Boston 2B Dustin Pedroia, on the DL with strained right thumb, is eligible to return on Thursday. Valentine had a funny line to show how eager the infielder was: ”He said he was ready about four days ago.” … Ventura said Philip Humber will start on Sunday and Dylan Axelrod will go to the bullpen. … The White Sox optioned RHP Jhan Marinez to Charlotte to make room for Hernandez. … Chicago’s Alejandro De Aza’s bat shattered and went flying into the stands about six rows behind the Red Sox on-deck circle and a male fan appeared to get a slight cut on the cheek. … Ciriaco stole third in the fourth but was waved back by home plate umpire Manny Gonzalez, who interfered with catcher A.J. Pierzynski while he was throwing.