By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Boston fans grew used to hearing “Pierce for three!” over the years, but Thursday night was a little different.
Instead of Paul Pierce knocking down triples for the Celtics, this time it was Steve Pearce mashing a trio of homers against the New York Yankees in a dominating 15-7 Red Sox victory at Fenway Park. By the time Pearce reached home plate following his third blast of the night, a solo shot in the sixth inning, the Fenway faithful were in a state of delirium. If the old ballyard had a roof, it would have blown off by the time Pearce got to second.
It was the first three-homer game of Pearce’s 12-year career, a night that will likely go down as his finest as a pro ball player when his playing days are over.
“It’s a night I’m never going to forget,” Pearce told reporters after the victory. “To see the fans do that, it’s a great feeling. A feeling I’ll never forget, especially when you get home and see all your teammates there ready for you. To be able to celebrate with them is a great feeling.”
Pearce’s first dinger of night was a solo shot into the monster seats off Yankees starter CC Sabathia in the third inning that helped Boston chip away at an early 4-0 hole. That blast cut the Yankees’ lead to 4-2, setting up his most dramatic swing of the night a few innings later. His second homer provided a seismic momentum shift in the tilt, a three-run shot in the fourth off reliever Jonathan Holder that soared over everything in left field and put the Red Sox on top 6-4. The bomb was part of an eight-run inning for Boston, possibly the team’s most important inning of the season thus far.
Those two blasts would have made for a fine evening, but Pearce completed the hat trick in the sixth, sending a Luis Cessa offering off the lights over the Green Monster. Pearce is now just the third Boston player to go deep against the Yankees three times in a game, joining Kevin Millar (2004) and Mo Vaughn (1997) on a pretty special list.
“That’s great company,” Pearce said. “Glad I could join them and hopefully the win tonight will be a tone-setter and we’ll try to keep the momentum tomorrow.”
The 15-7 beatdown gives Boston a 6.5 game lead over the Yankees in the AL East standings.
Pearce was acquired from the Blue Jays just over a month ago, and has been swinging a great bat for the Sox ever since. In 53 at-bats for Boston, the righty is hitting .358 with four homers, five doubles and 12 RBIs. Dave Dombrowski brought him in as a right-handed bat to hit against lefties. On Thursday night, he showed everyone he can mash the crud out of a baseball no matter what side of the mound its coming from.