CHICAGO - David Ortiz was ready to go home, so he went into his hurry-up offense.
Big Papi homered in the fourth and fifth innings, both times on the first pitches he saw, as the Boston Red Sox routed the Chicago White Sox 10-1 Friday night to take both ends of a split doubleheader.
“I just wanted to get it over with. We’ve been here too long today. I was swinging first pitch every time. That’s why,” said Ortiz, who went 4-for-5.
“It feels like we’ve been here two days straight up.”
In the opener, Josh Beckett became the major leagues’ first 16-game winner and Jason Varitek had four RBIs to lead the Red Sox to an 11-3 victory.
The Red Sox’s bats kept rolling in the nightcap and made it easy for Curt Schilling.
Schilling (8-5) allowed just three hits and a run in six innings, giving up a solo homer to Juan Uribe in the second as Boston upped its major league-best record to 78-51. The Red Sox are 4-1 on their current road trip that includes two more games with the White Sox and then three at Yankee Stadium.
“I feel like we’re starting to make a little bit of a push here. We’re starting to play all facets of the game,” Schilling said. “Everybody is doing their thing and it’s a good atmosphere here.”
The mood certainly isn’t the same with the White Sox.
Chicago has lost 11 of 13 and fell 16 games under .500 for the first time since 1999. The White Sox gave up 21 runs and 28 hits in the two games.
“Twelve hours of my life I wasted and I’m not going to get it back,” said Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen. “A tough day for everyone. Pitching, hitting, defense. You just name it. I think that’s one of the reasons they’re in first place and we’re in last place.”
Boston drove out struggling rookie John Danks (6-12) in a five-run fourth that featured Ortiz’s two-run homer, RBI doubles from Mike Lowell and Coco Crisp, an RBI single by Kevin Cash and two walks. Danks is 0-6 in his last seven starts and winless the last five weeks.
“They don’t have the best record for nothing,” Danks said.
Ortiz hit his 23rd homer to lead off the fifth against Gavin Floyd, and Youklis added a three-run homer following back-to-back walks.
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.
“Three walks. I definitely wasn’t too excited about that, but to get out of that inning with only one run was a big deal. I was lucky,” Beckett said. “The guys picked me up and scored runs.”
Beckett (16-5) allowed seven hits and three runs over 5 2-3 innings and had plenty of support from his teammates and the crowd.
The announced attendance was 30,581 but there were only about a third of that number in the stands for the makeup of Thursday night’s rainout. They included many noisy Boston fans, some chanting “Let’s Go Red Sox.”
Being a first-place team and playing in front of thousands of empty seats was strange enough.
“That was weird, wasn’t it? I think everyone felt it. We tried to create our own energy because there wasn’t much here,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said.
Also strange was Beckett’s first inning. He’d walked only five batters total in his previous five outings. And he hadn’t walked more than two batters in 13 straight starts, but all of a sudden he couldn’t find the plate.
“I just wasn’t throwing strikes,” said Beckett, now 9-1 in 10 starts this season away from Fenway Park.
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