BOSTON -- Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino switched sides Sunday, which is not to suggest he changed into an Arizona Diamondbacks’ uniform while John Farrell wasn’t watching.
The switch-hitting Victorino, who hurtled himself into the right-field seats in pursuit of a foul ball in the third inning and landed hard on his left side, came to the plate batting right-handed thereafter, against right-handed pitchers. He was hit by a pitch the first time up, then singled in his next two trips, both hits figuring in rallies that lifted the Sox to a 4-0 win over the Diamondbacks.
The Sox, who staged two walk-off wins earlier in this homestand, scored first for the first time in a dozen games at home, which has been an uncanny predicator of success this season: They’re 20-1 in games at Fenway in which they’ve scored first.
It helps, of course, when your guys hold the other guys scoreless for seven innings, which is what left-hander Felix Doubront did Sunday, limiting the Diamondbacks to five hits, all singles, while walking none and striking out five.
Doubront, who was backed by two double plays started by third baseman Brock Holt, did not allow an Arizona runner to advance past second base, and has held opponents to three runs or fewer in 19 of 20 starts. The best judgment call Bobby Valentine made as manager last season was when he identified Doubront as a major talent.
With a little run support, Doubront would have at least a dozen wins this season. This was his eighth of 2013, and comes after back-to-back losses to Tampa Bay ace David Price and the Rays in his last two starts.
The Sox were hitless against Brandon McCarthy before Mike Carp lined a two-out single in the fourth. The game was scoreless until the Sox fifth, which began with singles by Stephen Drew and Brock Holt that put runners on the corners with no out. Jacoby Ellsbury lifted a fly ball deep enough to center to score Drew, and Victorino whistled a liner up the middle to send Holt to third.
Dustin Pedroia then fouled off five straight pitches from McCarthy before lining a double into the left-field corner to make it 2-0.
The bottom of the Sox order generated another rally in the sixth, this time with singles by Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Drew off reliever Josh Collmenter. Holt bunted the runners over, executing the sacrifice he could not get down in the ninth inning of Friday’s loss, and Saltalamacchia scored when D-Backs right fielder Gerardo Parra, who already had a line drive clank off his glove for an error, lost Ellsbury’s blooper in the sun, the ball dropping safely as Parra ducked.
Victorino’s second single, this one off Collmenter, made it 4-0.
The Sox have won a major-league leading 23 series, and have won eight of 11 rubber games since mid-May.
One down note: Sox reliever Matt Thornton left with an apparent injury while pitching to his second batter in the eighth inning.