- Joe McDonald, ESPN Staff Writer
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BOSTON – Make that three wins in a row for the Boston Red Sox.
The cellar dwellers of the A.L. East bombarded the Cleveland Indians 12-1 in a Mother’s Day matinee on Sunday at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox banged out 12 hits, with catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia leading the charge with a 3-for-4 performance, including a home run and five RBIs. Daniel Nava chipped in with a pair of doubles and three RBIs.
For the third consecutive game, Boston received a solid starting pitching performance, with Daniel Bard getting the win.
Bard worked six innings and allowed one run on six hits with four walks and two strikeouts. He tossed a total of 97 pitches (58 strikes). After the top of the sixth, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine walked down the end of the dugout and informed the right-hander he was done for the day.
Lefty reliever Rich Hill retired the side in order in the top of the seventh inning.
After Boston scored six runs in the bottom of the seventh off former Red Sox pitcher, Dan Wheeler, the Sox held a 12-1 lead leading Valentine to make some defensive substitutions that included the major league debut of Mauro Gomez, who was called up from Pawtucket before the game. The 27-year-old career minor leaguer replaced Adrian Gonzalez at first base.
Gomez made his offensive debut in the bottom of the eighth and he struck out while swinging for the fences.
EXTENSION: With a double to lead off the bottom of the seventh, Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia extended his hitting streak to 14 games. The streak is the longest active in the majors.
HIT ME HARDER: Red Sox rookie third baseman Will Middlebrooks has hit safely in eight of his first 10 games in the majors. After going 0-for-4 on Saturday, Middlebrooks went 2-for-3 on Sunday, including a solo home run in the bottom of the third. He has four homers since making his major league debut on May 2.
DOUBLE THE PLEASURE: After retiring six of the first seven batters he faced, Bard pitched his way into a bit of a jam in the top of the third. The Sox held a 4-0 lead when Bard loaded the bases with one out. The right-hander walked in Cleveland’s first run of the game, but thanks to a 4-6-3 double play, Bard got out of it relatively unscathed.
The twin killings didn’t end there.
With one out and a runner on first in the top of the fifth, the Indians’ Asdrubal Cabrera drilled a hard line drive just to the left of the second-base bag. Red Sox shortstop Mike Aviles snared the hot shot and threw a bullet across the diamond to double up the Indians’ Jason Kipnis at first to end the inning.
SUN SCREEN: Red Sox center fielder Ryan Sweeney nearly produced a baseball bloopers video in the top of the second. With no outs and a runner on first, the Indians’ Carlos Santana lifted a high, fly ball to center. It was a clear and sunny day at the park and even with sunglasses on, Sweeney had no idea where the ball was. At the last second he saw it and made the catch.
NOT SO FAST: With the Indians threatening in the top of the fourth with a pair of runners in scoring position, Cleveland’s Casey Kotchman lifted a high, fly ball to right field. Santana stood on the third-base bag ready to tag up, but Cody Ross had other thoughts. After making the catch, he threw a one-hop bullet to the plate to keep Santana stranded at third for the rest of the inning.
ABOUT TIME: At long last, former Red Sox outfielder Johnny Damon was shown some love at Fenway Park. Ever since he left Boston after the 2005 season, it didn’t matter if he was playing for the New York Yankees, the Detroit Tigers or the Tampa Bay Rays, Damon, a key member of the 2004 Red Sox World Series team, would hear plenty of boos. Now with the Indians, he was given a tribute on the video board between innings with a montage of his six RBIs in Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS against the Yankees in New York. He was then shown in the dugout and received a standing ovation. He stepped onto the top step of the dugout and waved his helmet in appreciation.
UP NEXT: The Seattle Mariners come to town for a quick two-game set, beginning Monday night. Boston will send left-hander Jon Lester (1-3, 4.29 ERA) to the mound, while the Mariners will counter with southpaw Jason Vargas (4-2, 2.79).
3dScott Barboza, Special to ESPN.com