Middlebrooks powers Red Sox to 11-5 win over Royals

Posted May 08, 2012, at 12:18 a.m.
Will Middlebrooks, right, of the Boston Red Sox is congratulated by teammate David Ortiz (34) after hitting a three-run home run against the Kansas City Royals in the first inning on Monday, May 7, 2012, in Kansas City, Missouri.
JOHN SLEEZER | MCT
Will Middlebrooks, right, of the Boston Red Sox is congratulated by teammate David Ortiz (34) after hitting a three-run home run against the Kansas City Royals in the first inning on Monday, May 7, 2012, in Kansas City, Missouri.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Will Middlebrooks homered down each of the lines, David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia also went deep, and the Boston Red Sox pounded the Kansas City Royals 11-5 on Monday night to snap a five-game losing streak.

Middlebrooks, called up last week when Kevin Youkilis went on the disabled list, hit a three-run shot in the first inning and a two-run homer in the eighth, becoming the first player in Red Sox history with at least one extra-base hit in each of his first four major league games.

He also hit a grand slam in Boston’s 17-inning loss to Baltimore the previous night.

Felix Doubront (2-1) allowed all five Kansas City runs over 6 1-3 innings, giving the Red Sox bullpen a much-needed rest. Boston used up every available arm against the Orioles, forcing left-fielder Darnell McDonald to finish the 9-6 defeat.

The Royals’ Jonathan Sanchez (1-2) was pounded for six runs in three-plus innings, the 11th straight time the former Giants starter failed to last more than five innings.

Doubront left protecting a two-run cushion with the bases loaded in the seventh inning, but Vincente Padilla got Billy Butler to chop into an inning-ending double-play to preserve the lead, and the Red Sox added four more runs in the eighth to put it away.

Padilla wrapped up the game for the 34-year-old’s sixth career save.

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine refused to make any roster moves to bolster the bullpen after their marathon at Fenway Park, reasoning that nobody deserved to get sent to the minors.

Doubront wasn’t great, but he gave Valentine enough.

The left-hander got into trouble every inning but the fourth, yet he somehow managed to limit the damage each time. Doubront allowed seven hits and three walks.

Of course, it’s easier to pitch with a lead.

Adrian Gonzalez gave him that with an RBI single in the first, but Middlebrooks piled on moments later when he belted a three-run shot that just skirted the right-field foul pole.

Kansas City got half of the runs back on an RBI groundout by Brayan Pena and a sacrifice fly by Chris Getz, but the Royals repeatedly failed to put together a big inning.

Ortiz homered to right field in the third inning. Kelly Shoppach led off the fourth with his first career triple, chasing Sanchez from the game, and Pedroia greeted reliever Nate Adcock by pounding a two-run homer into the seats in right-center field.

The Royals still trailed 7-4 when Doubront came out for the seventh inning.

He allowed a leadoff single by Pena and one-out base hits by Alcides Escobar and Jarrod Dyson before getting Alex Gordon into an 0-2 hole. The Royals’ left-fielder managed to work back for a full-count walk, bringing in a run and chasing Doubront from the game.

That’s when Padilla took care of Butler with a chopping double-play grounder to second base.

Boston piled on in the eighth inning.

Pedroia walked and Ortiz was put on base intentionally, and Cody Ross brought them home with a double to center. That’s when Middlebrooks sent a pitch from reliever Tim Collins down the left-field line, the ball bouncing off the opposite foul pole from his first home run.

The Red Sox wound up with 16 hits, two shy of their season high, and the four homers was second only to the five they hit against Tampa Bay on April 14.

Notes: Boston RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (Tommy John surgery) pitched 4 2-3 innings for Triple-A Pawtucket on Monday in the third of his five scheduled rehab starts. … Royals RHP Greg Holland (ribcage) left for what will likely be two rehab appearances at Double-A Northwest Arkansas. … Boston LHP Jon Lester faces Royals LHP Bruce Chen on Tuesday night.

RANGERS 14, ORIOLES 3: Brandon Snyder homered and had a career-high six RBIs against his former team, and the Texas Rangers beat Baltimore 14-3 Monday night to end the Orioles’ five-game winning streak in Baltimore.

Snyder, the Orioles’ top draft choice in 2005, hit a two-run single in the second inning, a three-run drive in the sixth and an RBI single during a seven-run ninth.

Texas starter Matt Harrison (4-2) gave up three runs, six hits and a walk in seven innings.

Michael Young homered and drove in three runs and Josh Hamilton hit his 10th home run for the Rangers.

Starter Brian Matusz (1-4) yielded seven runs and 10 hits in five-plus innings, leaving Baltimore in a 7-0 hole in the sixth.

INDIANS 8, WHITE SOX 6: Zach McAllister pitched six innings for his first major league win as the Indians roughed up a far-from-perfect Philip Humber in a win over the Chicago White Sox in the first game of a day-night doubleheader in Cleveland.

McAllister, recalled from Triple-A Columbus to make his fifth career start, allowed just two earned runs and six hits.

The Indians took their turn pounding Humber (1-2) , who hasn’t been sharp since pitching the 21st perfect game in major league history on April 21. Since then, he has allowed 20 runs in 13 1-3 innings and gone 0-2 with a no-decision.

Michael Brantley and Casey Kotchman drove in three runs each for the AL-Central leading Indians. Travis Hafner homered and hit his first triple in nearly five years.

METS 5, PHILLIES 2: Jordany Valdespin promised his mother a hit.

The rookie outdid himself.

Valdespin had a pinch-hit three-run homer off Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth inning for his first major league hit, leading the New York Mets to a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday night.

“It was a great moment for me,” said Valdespin, who was called up to replace injured shortstop Ruben Tejada. “He’s one of the best closers in the big leagues. They called me last night and told me to be ready.”

David Wright hit a tying two-run double off Roy Halladay in the sixth to help New York won its third straight game.

Valdespin was 0 for 6 before hitting a drive way out to right off Papelbon (0-1). The 24-year-old infielder from the Dominican Republic had appeared in just seven games.

“They were celebrating with me, threw ice and beer all over me,” Valdespin said. “It was exciting.”

On the same day Tejada was placed on the disabled list, the injury-plagued Mets saw catcher Josh Thole leave after getting elbowed in the head during a collision at the plate. There was no word on Thole’s status.

Tim Byrdak (1-0) retired the only batter he faced to get the win. He struck out pinch-hitter Eric Kratz to end the eighth with a runner on third.

Frank Francisco finished for his eighth save.

Halladay bounced back from his worst start in five years and took a one-hitter into the sixth before getting in trouble. Halladay allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings, striking out seven. The only batter he walked wound up scoring.

“I felt good the whole time. I felt I made good pitches,” Halladay said. “You have to overcome it and move on.”

In a 15-13 extra-inning loss at Atlanta last Wednesday, Halladay gave up 12 hits — one below his career high — and eight runs in 5 1-3 innings. The two-time Cy Young Award winner had a 6-0 lead going into the fifth before surrendering six. Halladay left the team the next day for personal reasons.

Halladay had retired 13 straight before running into two-out trouble in the sixth. Andres Torres walked and Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit a single. Wright followed with a grounder just over the third base bag. The ball kicked off the foul stand and bounced into shallow left field, allowing both runners to score.

Mets starter Jonathon Niese allowed two runs and four hits in five innings.

“To come back against Roy and finish the game with two big hits was great for us,” Mets manager Terry Collins said.

The Phillies loaded the bases with one out in the seventh and had runners on second and third with one out in the eighth — both times against Bobby Parnell — and didn’t score. Shane Victorino was called for interference because he slid out of the base line to take out shortstop Justin Turner on Hunter Pence’s grounder to second, and the double play negated a run and ended the inning.

Ty Wigginton was thrown out trying to score on Freddy Galvis’ tapper to the mound in the eighth. Thole went down after taking a shot to the head and had to leave the game. Byrdak replaced Parnell and fanned Kratz.

“We had big chances and couldn’t do it,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.

In the top of seventh, Ike Davis hit a hard liner off Halladay’s right thigh for a single. Halladay waved off a trainer and stayed in to finish the inning, getting help from left fielder John Mayberry Jr.’s second diving catch of the game.

Mayberry’s sacrifice fly in the first gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead. Jimmy Rollins led off with a line-drive double to right-center. He reached third when Torres bobbled the ball for an error and scored on Mayberry’s liner to center.

Placido Polanco hit an RBI double in the second.

NOTES: Tejada went on the DL because of a strained right quad. … Phillies 1B Ryan Howard took batting practice for the first time since February at the team’s spring-training facility in Clearwater, Fla. GM Ruben Amaro Jr. called it “progress.” Howard, the 2006 NL MVP, has been sidelined since having a procedure to remove an infection near his surgically repaired left Achilles tendon. … Amaro said Chase Utley will stay in Philadelphia and field grounders and run. He’ll join Howard in Clearwater “when he feels comfortable,” according to Amaro. Utley, the five-time All-Star second baseman, had been working out with a specialist in Arizona to strengthen his chronically bad knees. … RHP Joe Blanton (3-3, 2.83) takes the mound against the Mets on Tuesday night after tossing his first shutout in five years in his last start. Miguel Batista (0-1, 6.92) starts for New York.

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