Red Sox overwhelm Tigers 20-4

BOSTON – One after another, the baseballs cleared the fences at Fenway Park – a franchise record-tying eight home runs in all for the Boston Red Sox.

And David Ortiz led the way.

The Red Sox designated hitter homered twice and he also doubled for his 2,000th career hit on Wed-nesday to lead Boston to a 20-4 romp over the Detroit Tigers.

“I’ve never really seen that many happy faces in the dugout at the same time,” said Ortiz, who was one of a franchise-record seven different Red Sox batters to homer. “It was like lighting a firework. … I see everybody happy. It’s like the fireworks just keep on coming.”

Boston pulled away in an eight-run sixth inning when Will Middlebrooks hit a grand slam, Ortiz had an RBI double to reach 2,000 and Daniel Nava added a two-run homer. Ortiz homered again in a five-run seventh – the 427th of his career to move past Billy Williams and into 47th on baseball’s all-time home run list.

“Congratulations to David. That’s a heck of a milestone,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “I’m sure the Red Sox fans are proud of him and he’s proud of himself. He’s had a wonderful career and he’s popular here. A very kind man, really. I’m very happy for him. It came against the wrong team, but that’s OK.”

Jacoby Ellsbury, Stephen Drew, Mike Napoli and Ryan Lavarnway also homered as the Red Sox turned a game that was tied 4-4 after four innings into a blowout.

Boston has won nine of 11, including two of three from Detroit to hold on to the best record in the American League.

“Just a rare and outstanding offensive night tonight,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell, who had St. Anthony High School alumnus Shane Victorino steal second in the fifth inning to try to get the potential go-ahead run in scoring position. “You think at that point you’re looking to somewhat manufacture a run any way you can. Little did we know it would turn out like it did.”

Ryan Dempster (8-9) allowed four runs on six hits with seven strikeouts to win his second straight start since he was suspended for five games for intentionally hitting New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez.

The Tigers’ Rick Porcello (11-8) allowed nine runs – eight earned – and seven hits in five-plus innings.