San Francisco, CA – Felix Doubront tossed eight outstanding innings and received a wealth of offensive support as the Boston Red Sox battered the San Francisco Giants, 12-1, to wrap up a three-game interleague series.
Doubront (9-6) bounced back from two straight shaky starts to limit the Giants to a run on five hits and a walk, with the effort helping the Red Sox take two of the set's three meetings following four losses in a five-game span.
"Everything was working," said Doubront afterward.
Boston also regained sole possession of first place in the American League East after Tampa Bay lost to Baltimore on Wednesday night.
Stephen Drew belted a three-run homer and Will Middlebrooks had a two-run shot for Boston, while Jonny Gomes and Jarrod Saltalamacchia each contributed two- RBI singles to the rout. Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino collected three hits apiece and combined to score three runs.
Making his first start since July 30, Barry Zito (4-9) lasted just 3 2/3 innings and was roughed up for six runs on seven hits.
Joaquin Arias finished 2-for-3 for San Francisco and accounted for the Giants' lone run with a solo homer in the second inning.
Zito, inserted back in the rotation with Chad Gaudin landing on the disabled list Tuesday, got through the first inning unscathed. He was hit hard in the next three, however, as Boston built a comfortable 6-1 lead at the game's midway point.
Middlebrooks opened the scoring by homering to left with Saltalamacchia aboard in the second. Arias' blast into the seats in left center during the bottom of the frame cut San Francisco's deficit in half, but the Giants would get no closer.
Ellsbury and Victorino stroked consecutive singles off Zito to begin the third, and Dustin Pedroia followed with an RBI double down the left-field line to restore the Red Sox' two-run edge. Two batters later, Gomes laced a single that brought home both Victorino and Pedroia for a 5-1 advantage.
Zito was removed after surrendering Victorino's two-out double in the fourth that plated Middlebrooks, who drew a leadoff walk and advanced into scoring position on a Doubront sacrifice.
Victorino's hit dropped into shallow right field as three San Francisco players -- first baseman Brandon Belt, second baseman Marco Scutaro and right fielder Hunter Pence -- all watched the ball hit the ground.
"On popups, you have to communicate," said Belt. "We didn't do it that time. Nobody said anything."
Doubront was terrific over the remainder of his stint, setting down eight consecutive hitters after Arias' homer and yielding only three singles over his final six innings of work.
"I was working fast and getting those hitters, making good pitches and throwing strikes," said Doubront. "I was able to throw strikes down in the zone."
Boston put the contest completely out of reach by tagging reliever Mike Kickham for five runs in the seventh. Two hits, including another Pedroia double, and a walk loaded the bases with one out in front of Saltalamacchia's two-run single that extended the margin to 8-1. Drew then clubbed a hanging curveball over the high wall in right to create a double-digit differential.
The Red Sox tacked on one final run in the eighth. Pinch-hitter Daniel Nava reached on an error by Scutaro, took second on Victorino's third hit of the game, then scored when Kickham threw the ball away after fielding a ground ball.
David Ortiz started at first base for Boston but was removed after 4 1/2 innings with lower back tightness. Mike Napoli, who was out of the starting lineup for a fifth straight game with a foot injury, replaced him ... Arias started at third base in place of Pablo Sandoval, who sat for a second straight day with back spasms ... Saltalamacchia ended 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to nine games ... Arias' homer was his first since October 2 of last season at the Los Angeles Dodgers ... Middlebrooks now has five homers and 16 RBI in 19 career interleague games.