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BOSTON (CBS) – Without David Ortiz, someone needed to pick up the slack in the Red Sox offense.
On Wednesday night, Cody Ross had the honors.
Ross, batting third for the first time this season, smacked a pair of three-run homers and drove in six of Boston’s 10 runs in their 10-1 win over the White Sox at Fenway Wednesday night.
Ross had a feeling every time he stepped to the plate he had the opportunity to do something big. Each time, he made the most of it.
“It’s just one of those nights where you feel like every time you come up there were runners in scoring position and I had an opportunity to (drive them in),” he said following his third multi-homer game of the year. “Just having Jacoby (Ellsbury) and Carl (Crawford) have been huge for use; getting on base and wreaking havoc on the base paths.”
Ross’ first home run came in the bottom of the third, when he took Chicago starter Pedro Hernandez deep to left to break up a 1-1 tie. The very next inning, he did it again, this time planting a three-run blast into left-center that cleared everything.
“The way my swing has developed over time, I had a good feeling this would be a good spot for me,” Ross said of playing at Fenway. “With that being said, it can easily work against you. If you’re thinking consciously all the time that you want to hit the ball over that wall, chances are you’re not going to do it. You’re probably going to pull a lot of balls foul or roll a lot of balls over.”
“My thought process is stay hard up the middle and try to hit the ball as hard as I can up the middle, and my swing path will create that lift that will allow me to hit a lot of fly balls,” he continued. “This is definitely a great place to hit for a right-handed pull hitter.”
Ross nearly had a home-run hat trick Wednesday night, but had to settle for a double in the bottom of the sixth. When the ball left his bat, Ross thought he had his third homer of the night, and stood to watch it for a few seconds.
But then, he realized he would have to run. He admits he embellished the two-bagger just a bit.
“Obviously quite a bit,” he joked after the game. “I thought I had got it and I was joking with (Chicago second baseman Gordon) Beckham and (second base umpire) Laz Diaz that the wind started blowing back towards us. I got a little excited, definitely, to say the least.”
Ross didn’t stay at second for lone. He scored a few pitches later when Adrian Gonzalez smacked a two-run single scoring Ross and Carl Crawford to put Boston up 10-1.
Gonzalez also hit a solo home run after Ross’ fourth inning blast, as the two accounted for all 10 of Boston’s runs.
“He’s probably one of the hottest hitters in the game right now,” Ross said of Gonzalez. “It seems like he’s got that confidence back and that swagger back that I’ve seen for years playing against him. Every time he comes up, he’s got a chance to do damage. He’s such a fun hitter to watch when he’s going good. He sprays the ball all over the place, has a lot of power and can hit the ball over the Monster, too.”
Gonzalez has now hit safely in 22 of his last 23 games and is batting .404 during that stretch.
With contributions like Ross’ and Gonzalez’, it softened the blow of losing Ortiz to a heel injury — at least for one night.
“Anytime you lose a guy like David, it’s tough to make up for,” said Ross. “When you have guys getting on base early and the heart of your lineup coming up every time with runners on, it puts pressure on the other team. You can’t make up for David; nobody can. But you just try to pick him up and do your part. Tonight we did.”