BOSTON -- The Garden ice has turned to puddles -- or are those tears. The Celtics have bid adieu to Doc. The Patriots are holding their breath on No. 81.
And the Red Sox officially opened their bid to reclaim summer with an 11-4 romp over the Colorado Rockies, who were making their first appearance here since 2007, when Dustin Pedroia roughly welcomed them to town by hitting Jeff Francis’s second pitch for a leadoff home run in the World Series.
Pedroia was no less rude as a guest the last time the Sox visited the Rockies on their home turf, hitting three home runs off three different pitchers, plus a double, during a 5-for-5 night that comprised the greatest hitting exhibition of his career.
That was on June 24, 2010. Almost three years to the day later, Pedroia reintroduced himself to the Rockies with three hits -- all of which came in the first three innings -- four RBIS, a stolen base, a leaping catch and a sacrifice fly before an overheated crowd of 36,286 in the Fens.
The Sox, beginning a 10-game homestand that includes bookend series against NL West teams (the Rockies and Padres) sandwiched around a four-game set against the Toronto Blue Jays, scored seven runs on a dozen hits in the first three innings, and finished with a season-high 20 hits.
Pedroia was one of four Sox players with three hits. Jacoby Ellsbury had three hits and a walk and scored three times, Daniel Nava broke a 4-for-30 slide with three singles, while Jose Iglesias, who officially became Boston’s everyday third baseman when Will Middlebrooks was optioned to Pawtucket, raised his average to .438 with two singles and a double. Iglesias has reached base in all 27 games in which he has had a plate appearance since being called up May 24.
Every player in the Sox lineup had at least one hit.
All of that offense came as a welcome change for Ryan Dempster, who lost his last two starts when the Sox scored a total of two runs behind him. Dempster pitched out of a first-inning jam, gave up a long home run to Wilin Rosario in the second, then coasted through six innings with a big lead to post his fifth win against eight losses.