Red Sox 13, Blue Jays 0: Will Middlebrooks launched a career-high three homers and Jon Lester tossed seven strong innings as visiting Boston pounded Toronto.
Middlebrooks’ 4-for-5 effort included a two-run home run in the first, a solo blast in the fifth and another solo shot in the seventh. Mike Napoli also added four RBIs, more than enough offensive output for Lester (2-0), who allowed five hits and struck out six to win his first two decisions to begin a season for the first time since 2007.
R.A. Dickey (0-2), who surrendered Middlebrooks’ first two homers, was roughed up for eight runs – seven earned – and 10 hits over 4 2/3 innings. The reigning National League Cy Young Award winner also walked a pair and struck out five in his least effective start since surrendering eight runs over 4 1/3 innings against the Atlanta Braves on April 18, 2012.
The Red Sox wasted little time getting to Dickey with five runs in the first as Jacoby Ellsbury doubled and Shane Victorino singled to open the game. Dustin Pedroia plated Ellsbury with a single and Napoli followed with a two-run double before Middlebrooks lined Dickey’s fastball over the right-field fence.
Boston tacked on a run apiece in the third and fourth before Middlebrooks led off the fifth with a blast that carried well into the second deck in deep left. Middlebrooks teamed with Daniel Nava to hit back-to-back homers in the seventh while Ellsbury and Napoli completed the home run assault with a solo shot and two-run blast, respectively, in the eighth.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Middlebrooks’ three-homer game was the most by a Red Sox hitter since Pedroia hit three on the road against the Colorado Rockies on June 24, 2010. … Blue Jays RHP Dave Bush, who made his first appearance in the majors since 2011 following his promotion from the minors on Saturday, yielded four homers in the same game for the first time since August 11, 2010, against the Arizona Diamondbacks. … Boston’s six home runs were its most in a game since matching the feat against the Baltimore Orioles on July 7, 2011.