BOSTON — Facing his former team was just another game for Adrian Gonzalez. His current team’s 10-run inning was something special.
Gonzalez drove in three runs with a single and double in the big seventh inning and the hot-hitting Boston Red Sox rolled to a 14-5 win over the struggling San Diego Padres on Monday night.
“I had fun with it. I have fun out there every day,” said Gonzalez, who leads the majors with 67 RBIs and a .353 batting average. “It was good to see them before the game and catch up with them, but once the game started, it was all about playing the game.”
The Red Sox have been playing it better than any other team the past 2½ weeks.
They are 14-2 since June 3. They scored at least 10 runs for the fifth time in nine games and lead the majors with a .277 batting average.
“I don’t really know the stats,” Dustin Pedroia said. “We’re just out there playing. We’re trying to win games. We know we have a great offense. We’re just trying to put it all together and we’ve been doing that the past few weeks.”
The Red Sox had only five hits in the 10-run inning. Three runs scored on two hit batsmen and a walk with the bases loaded. But the biggest play almost ended up as a double play.
Cory Luebke (1-2) had struck out six of his nine batters heading into the seventh.
“I felt fine,” he said. “(My) last inning the ball was coming up a little bit. No matter how many pitches you’ve been out there for, you can’t walk the leadoff hitter. I kind of started the mess there.”
Jacoby Ellsbury drew that walk. Pedroia then hit a bouncer to second baseman Orlando Hudson but hustled down the line to narrowly avoid a double play. Gonzalez followed with a tiebreaking double.
“That seventh inning was all created by Pedey getting to first base,” said Gonzalez, traded in the offseason for three prospects because the Padres couldn’t offer him a lucrative contract. “If he was not able to stay away from the double play and get down the line, my double doesn’t score a run. … After that, the guys just continued to have quality at-bat after quality at-bat.”
Matt Albers (2-3) pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings to get the decision as the AL East-leading Red Sox remained 1½ games ahead of the New York Yankees.
San Diego, last in the majors with a .233 batting average, lost its season-high sixth straight game.
“Some soft hits, walks and hit by pitches,” Padres manager Bud Black said of the 10-run inning. “We just tried to stop the bleeding and couldn’t.”
Gonzalez’s double made it 4-3. After Kevin Youkilis flied out, the Red Sox scored nine more runs.
David Ortiz was walked intentionally and J.D. Drew walked, loading the bases. Ernesto Frieri then hit the next two batters — Marco Scutaro and Jason Varitek — to make it 6-3. Josh Reddick tacked on a two-run double, and Pedroia walked with the bases loaded. Gonzalez drove in two more with a base hit and Youkilis had a two-run double.
It was the most runs for the Red Sox in a single inning since they scored 12 in the sixth in a 13-3 win over Cleveland on May 7, 2009. The team record is 17 runs in the seventh against Detroit on June 18, 1953.
The previous biggest inning for the Red Sox this season was seven runs in three games, the last on June 11 at Toronto.
“We had 13 hits and they had 14 and we lost by nine runs,” Black said after watching his pitchers walk nine batters. “You can’t walk guys in this park.”
Boston scored single runs in the first, third and fourth off Wade LeBlanc. San Diego tied it in the sixth on a three-run homer by Hudson off Andrew Miller, the sixth overall pick in the 2006 draft. He made his first appearance of the season after being called up on Sunday from Triple-A Pawtucket.
“There’s a lot to be encouraged about,” Boston manager Terry Francona said. He “just made a bad pitch and paid for it.”
Boston added another run, on a bases-loaded walk to Ellsbury, in the eighth.
Boston will be without major league ERA leader Josh Beckett Tuesday night because he is sick and will miss his scheduled start.
Francona says Beckett, who has a 1.86 ERA, will be replaced by Alfredo Aceves in the second game of the three-game series against the San Diego Padres.
Francona says Beckett has “intestinal turmoil” and hasn’t felt well for a few days. He had planned to go home to see if he recovered enough to pitch on Tuesday. But Francona says if Beckett is worried about pitching it would be better to move his start back. He did not say when Beckett would pitch again.
Aceves has three starts in his 18 appearances. John Lackey is scheduled to pitch the series finale on Wednesday.
NOTES: Chase Headley went 4 for 5 for the Padres. … Ortiz has hit in 14 straight games at Fenway Park. … Black made his major league debut at Fenway on Sept. 5, 1981, for the Seattle Mariners. He faced one batter, Rick Miller, throwing a wild pitch before allowing a single. … Francona is considering using first baseman Gonzalez in the outfield for some games during a nine-game interleague trip to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Houston. That would give designated hitter Ortiz a chance to play first base rather than miss all the games. Gonzalez has played the outfield just once in his 929 games — making three putouts and an error on Sept. 30, 2005, for the Texas Rangers against the Los Angeles Angels. … Padres catcher Nick Hundley broke an 0-for-17 slump with a single in the eighth.
Cubs 6, White Sox 3
CHICAGO — Carlos Zambrano kept his cool this time after a tough first inning, Carlos Pena hit a three-run homer and Starlin Castro drove in three runs as the Chicago Cubs rallied to beat the White Sox 6-3 on Monday night.
The first matchup of six this season between the crosstown rivals with losing records drew a crowd of 36,005 at U.S. Cellular Field on a 75-degree night. White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was ejected in the sixth inning after apparently arguing that a ball hit near the plate by Alexei Ramirez should have been ruled foul.
Zambrano (6-4), who had a meltdown nearly a year ago at U.S. Cellular Field, recovered from a shaky three-run first that included Paul Konerko’s 20th homer. He allowed seven hits over eight innings.
Carlos Marmol allowed two hits in the ninth before retiring the side for his 15th save in 19 chances.
Castro’s second homer of the season leading off the sixth against Gavin Floyd tied the game at 3-3. And after a single by Blake DeWitt and walk to Aramis Ramirez, Pena connected to right center for his 12th homer.
Zambrano went on a dugout tirade after giving up four runs in the first inning of his start against the White Sox last June 25, angry over his team’s defense. He was suspended for the outburst and later went to anger management counseling.
There were no meltdowns this time for Big Z, even after he gave up an RBI single to Carlos Quentin and then a two-run shot to Konerko, who homered for a fourth straight game. Zambrano threw 115 pitches, walked two and struck out five.
Zambrano had given up 12 earned runs in 12 1-3 innings in two starts after saying the Cubs were playing like a Triple-A team following a loss in St. Louis earlier this month.
But he kept his composure after the White Sox’s strong start. He struck out Konerko with two on to end a threat in the fifth.
The angriest moment came in the bottom of the sixth from Guillen, Zambrano’s countryman and friend.
Ramirez hit a ball close to the plate and Cubs catcher Geovany Soto picked it up and tagged him with home plate umpire James Hoye calling Ramirez out. Ramirez protested and then Guillen raced from the dugout, angrily showing Hoye where the ball hit near the plate. After Hoye ejected him, Guillen kicked Soto’s mask away from the plate and continued his argument.
It was Guillen’s second ejection this season and 27th of his career.
The Cubs got two back against Floyd (6-7) in the third on Soto’s single, a sacrifice, a walk to Kosuke Fukudome and Castro’s two-out, two-run single. Floyd gave up five hits and six runs in five-plus innings.
Notes: Guillen, the third base coach of the Marlins when they won the World Series in 2003, said Jack McKeon’s return to managing Florida at age 80 showed his compassion for the game. Asked about his name being mentioned as a possible Marlins manager next season, Guillen, who has another year left on his deal with the White Sox, said he wants to stay. But he added it would be up to general manager Ken Williams and owner Jerry Reinsdorf if they want him back. … Konerko set a club record by reaching 20 homers for a 12th season. Frank Thomas also had 11 seasons of at least 20 with Chicago. … The victory was just the fifth for the Cubs over the White Sox in their last 16 games.