By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen
BOSTON Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury nearly delivered Tim Wakefields 200th win by themselves.
The Nos. 1 and 2 hitters in the Red Sox lineup went a combined 8-for-10 with eight runs scored, eight RBI, three doubles, three home runs, and a walk Tuesday night in Boston's 18-6 rout of the Blue Jays. Their back-to-back home runs in fourth inning marked the 10th time Sox batters have hit consecutive home runs this season.
Pedroia, who went 4-for-5 with two home runs, had the third multi-home run game of his career, and first since he hit three on June 24, 2010, in Colorado. He matched a career high with five RBI (for the fourth time) and four extra-base hits (third time) the first for both since that game in Colorado.
His two home runs gave him 20 for the season, the first time in his career he has reached that milestone and becomes the seventh Sox player with at least 20 home runs and 20 steals (he has 25) in a season. With Ellsbury, they are the first pair of Sox batters to do so in one season.
I was just trying to have a good game and help us win, he said. Its been, the last couple of weeks, its been tough. Weve had a tough schedule. We havent got much sleep. But were at the time of the year where we all need to step up together and play wining baseball. We played great tonight but tomorrow we got to come out and find a way to win. And thats basically it. Its getting close and we got to figure it out.
The win was desperately needed. The Sox had lost five in a row, six of seven on the recent road trip, and seven of eight.
Every wins big, he said "Were going to come out and play every day like its Game 7 from here on out. We have to. We got a great group of guys, very talented, but if we dont play together were not going to be very good. So we got to make sure we do that.
Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to 17 games. He is hitting .384 (28-for-73) with 11 doubles, a triple, four home runs, 13 RBI, 15 runs scored, and nine walks in that stretch. He went 4-for-5 with a home run, four runs scored, and three RBI, tying a career high for the seventh time in hits, and for the for the second time in runs scored. He has 190 hits for the season, a new career high.
The home run was over the Wall in left field, just the second time in his career hes hit an opposite-field home run.
Hes gotten stronger, hes grown into his body, said manager Terry Francona. He understands his swing. Now those base hits to left field are turning into doubles and some of them home runs.
David Ortiz was a game-time scratch because of back spasms.
Francona said Josh Beckett, who has been sidelined by sprained ankle suffered in his last start, would likely start Friday against the Rays at Fenway, but thats not exactly set in stone.
Thursdays starter for the opener of the four-game set with the Rays is still not known.
Josh Reddick extended his career-high hit streak to nine games.
Jarrod Saltalamacchias four RBI matched a season-high set July 24 in Wakefields previous win.
Marco Scutaro went 2-for-3 with two RBI, a run, and a walk. His seventh-inning double was the 1,000th hit of his career. He has 15 RBI in his last nine games, in which he is batting .471 (16-for-34).
With 18 hits, the Sox reached that mark for sixth time this season and are 6-0 in those games.
Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen