BOSTON — Jamie Moyer has had a long, successful career as a contact pitcher. The Boston Red Sox made plenty of contact in the worst start of his 24 seasons on Friday night.
David Ortiz drove in four runs, Boston led 12-0 after three innings and the Red Sox pounded out 17 hits to beat the Philadelphia Phillies 12-2.
“It was quite obvious,” Moyer said. “I didn’t execute and when I did they hit the ball hard.”
The 47-year-old left-hander allowed nine runs on nine hits, including six doubles and Mike Lowell’s two-run homer, and left after failing to retire any of the first four batters in the second inning. He doesn’t throw particularly hard and tries to get batters to put the ball in play.
John Lackey (7-3) won his third straight decision, giving up two runs and six hits in seven innings.
All the runs against Moyer (6-6) were earned. He had given up between nine and 11 earned runs in five of his other 620 starts before Friday, but the shortest stint in those shaky outings was 3 2-3 innings. He’s lasted one inning or less in only five of his career starts. And his career ERA at Fenway Park against Boston rose from 6.43 to 7.59.
“I felt like I was pitching behind in the count the whole night,” he said. “You can’t do that as a contact pitcher. I’m going to give up hits, but when you space them out you have a chance. When they clump them together it makes it tough.”
Boston added three runs in the third off David Herndon.
Ortiz and Marco Scutaro each had three hits for Boston, which opened a nine-game interleague homestand against Philadelphia, Arizona and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The key to the offense was patience and not swinging too soon at Moyer’s soft serves.
“Against Moyer, you better (hit) up the middle,” Boston manager Terry Francona said, “or you’re going to get out front. He’s going to frustrate you. The guys stayed on (his pitches) real well.”
The Phillies lost for the 15th time in 22 games, a span in which they’ve managed just 53 runs.
“When we get pitching we haven’t been hitting at all,” Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said, “and then, all of a sudden, when we start swinging the bats a little bit better then we get a bad-pitched game and then we play sloppy defense.”
The Red Sox, who started the season focusing on run prevention, lead the American League in runs, hits and doubles and are second in homers.
“Nobody knows how things are going to be,” Ortiz said. “You might take your chances guessing, but we have players that are capable of doing some damage and that’s what’s going on.”
Moyer walked the first batter he faced, Scutaro, who was forced out at second on Dustin Pedroia’s grounder. Then the onslaught began with consecutive doubles by Victor Martinez, Ortiz and Adrian Beltre, and then Lowell’s second homer of the year that made it 5-0.
Scutaro opened the second with a single before the next three batters, — Pedroia, Ortiz and Martinez — all doubled in runs. Boston’s ninth run scored when Lowell grounded into a double play.
The Red Sox began the third with three straight hits off Herndon — singles by Mike Cameron and Darnell McDonald and an RBI single by Scutaro. Then Ortiz hit a two-run single with two outs for a 12-0 lead.
“Once the guys start swinging the bats like that, you want to pound the strike zone,” Lackey said. “You want to try to get (your) guys back in the dugout as quick as you can because they’re feeling good at the plate and you want to get them back up there.”
Lackey allowed just a hit and a walk with two strikeouts in the first three innings. But in the fourth, Ryan Howard singled, took third on a double by Jayson Werth and scored on a groundout by Raul Ibanez.
Philadelphia got its second run in the seventh when Werth singled, went to third on Ross Gload’s double and scored on Carlos Ruiz’s groundout.
NOTES: The big lead gave Boston 2B Pedroia a chance to rest his painful right knee when manager Terry Francona removed him from the game in the top of the sixth. … Moyer was 7-1 with Boston in 1996. … Red Sox 1B Kevin Youkilis missed the game with back spasms. … Jason Varitek’s eighth-inning double gave the Red Sox eight in a game for the first time since Aug. 18, 2006, when they had eight against the New York Yankees. … Moyer faced 13 batters and threw 61 pitches. In his previous start, a complete game 6-2 win over San Diego, he threw 98 pitches.