Will Middlebrooks hit three home runs on a near-perfect 4-of-5 batting effort to go along with four RBI, as the Boston Red Sox cruised to a 13-0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday in the rubber match of a three-game series.
Jacoby Ellsbury, Daniel Nava and Mike Napoli also hit home runs for the Red Sox, who convincingly claimed their second straight series of the season and third consecutive series clincher at Toronto.
Middlebrooks, who became the first player this season to hit three homers in one game, also became the first Red Sox player to accomplish the feat since Dustin Pedroia (June 24th, 2010).
Jon Lester (2-0), tossed seven scoreless innings of five-hit ball and added six strikeouts with no walks.
"Good Lord," Lester said. "About 2,000 feet of homers it seemed like. He obviously feels pretty good at the plate. It's fun to watch when we're on that side of it."
Toronto starter R.A. Dickey (0-2) struggled over 4 2/3 innings allowing eight runs -- seven earned -- on 10 hits while striking out five in defeat. The knuckleball specialist, who won the NL Cy Young award last season, was also dealt with a loss in his debut, a 4-1 defeat versus Cleveland on Tuesday.
"Throughout the course of the season, you're going to have a clunker or two that you have to try to forget as soon as you can," Dickey said. "Obviously, today was one of those days for me. A lot of this game is about how to handle adversity and manage regret. That will be it for me tonight."
Jose Reyes and Maicer Izturis each had two hits for the Blue Jays, who fell to 2-4.
After registering just two hits in a 5-0 loss at Toronto on Saturday, the Red Sox jumped out early in the first inning with five runs.
Ellsbury led off the game with a double, then following a single from Shane Victorino, Pedroia singled to right scoring the first run. Napoli drilled a double to center scoring two runners and Middlebrooks took the first pitch he saw over the right field wall for a two-run shot to make it 5-0.
Middlebrooks stayed hot in the third with a double down the left field line. He then advanced to third on a passed ball before Nava hit a sacrifice fly to right to make it 6-0.
"Well, everyone is going to point to the three home runs today," Boston manager John Farrell said of Middlebrooks' play. "But you look at the slow roller that he made, and he also handles a couple of hot shots down at third base, as well. He's an all-around player, a guy that profiles the position to a T."
Jose Iglesias added another run in the fourth on a Ellsbury single after he doubled to left field. Middlebrooks followed one inning later with a solo shot to left to make it 8-0.
Middlebrooks and Nava added to the damage in the seventh with solo homers each to left-center field in consecutive at bats to push the lead to 10-0. In the eighth, Ellsbury knocked out his first homer of the season and Napoli joined the party with a two-run shot to center, which made it 13-0.
Lester is 12-7 in 23 career games against Toronto ... It's the first time since 2006 that Boston clinched its first two sets to start the year ... The Sox didn't commit an error in their first five games and were looking to add to the 1957 club's streak of six straight contests before committing a miscue. Pedro Ciriaco, though, committed the team's first error of the year in the ninth with two outs on a throw to first base ... Napoli had four RBI... Toronto's Jose Bautista missed his third straight game due to an ankle injury ... Blue Jays reliever Dave Bush gave up four home runs after Dickey.