How impressive was Will Middlebrooks’ display of power yesterday? A Blue Jays fan even tried to shake his hand. Middlebrooks already had become only the 21st Red Sox player to hit three homers in a game and had come less than 10 feet from a fourth, a feat that would have been a franchise first, when a fan burst onto the field in the eighth inning and extended a hand. “He said he was happy to meet me,” Middlebrooks said. “And then he got tackled (by security).” It hardly was the only indignity brought upon the Blue Jays in the finale of a three-game series at Rogers Centre. The Red Sox clubbed six homers and scored eight runs against reigning NL Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey en route to a 13-0 thrashing, pocketing their fourth victory on a season-opening six-game road trip. And as they arrive at Fenway Park for today’s home opener, they will do so as a first-place team. “The last couple of years, we were searching, and now we have a good road trip,” Dustin Pedroia said after the Sox won their first two series of a season for the first time since 2006. “It’s only six games. We’ve just got to keep it going.” Things weren’t going quite so well for Middlebrooks a week ago. He played through a fever on Opening Day at Yankee Stadium, then needed a few days to regain his strength. But by the time he belted his third home run yesterday, a towering shot to left-center field to open the seventh inning, teammates jokingly were searching for the key to the weight room. “Good Lord, about 2,000 feet of homers, it seemed like,” said starter Jon Lester, whose seven scoreless innings were overshadowed by Middlebrooks’ might. “He obviously feels good at the plate. It’s fun to watch when you’re on that side of it.” Middlebrooks had faced Dickey only once before, last month in spring training. At the time, he joked that the secret to hitting a knuckleball was to “swing as hard as you can in case you hit it.” But Middlebrooks came up with another strategy. Realizing Dickey was having difficulty controlling his knuckler, he pounced on fastballs for his first two homers, a two-run blast to right field in the second inning and solo number to left-center in the fifth. In between, he hit a knuckleball for a double.
Will Middlebrooks shakes up Toronto with 3 HRs
Boston Herald | Apr 8