DENVER -- Todd Helton thrilled the sellout Coors Field crowd that came to embrace him in his final home game Wednesday night with the Colorado Rockies.
He received a loud, standing ovation each time he came to the plate, and Helton responded. On his first three plate appearances, Helton homered, hit a sacrifice fly and doubled off the left-field wall, sliding head-first into second base and giving the 48,775 fans a last gritty moment to appreciate him in person.
All that was lacking was a Rockies victory. And the Red Sox obliterated any hope of a Colorado victory by scoring 10 runs in the first five innings on their way to a 15-5 win. Boston now has two-game lead over the Oakland A's in the race for the best record in the American League and home-field advantage in the postseason. The A's lost 3-1 to the Los Angeles Angels.
The 10-run loss matched the Rockies' largest margin of defeat this season.
Will Middlebrooks drove in a career-high seven runs with a three-run homer in the fifth and a grand slam in the eighth. Shane Victorino hit a three-run homer in the fourth. Jarrod Saltalamacchia went 4-for-4 with three RBIs.
Both starting pitchers labored. Jhoulys Chacin lasted four innings for the Rockies. Jake Peavy gave up two runs in both the second and third innings, but just one run thereafter as he made it through six innings on 110 pitches.
Former teammate Franklin Morales came on to face Helton in the seventh. But before throwing a pitch, Morales picked Michael Cuddyer off first base and then struck out Helton with a 95 mph fastball.
Rockies catcher Yorvit Torrealba left the game in the sixth with a right thumb contusion. X-rays were negative, and he was listed day-to-day.
Helton homered with one out in the second, his 15th homer of the season and the 369th of his career. That tied him with Ralph Kiner for 74th all-time, one behind Gil Hodges.
NOTES: Red Sox CF Jacoby Ellsbury returned to the lineup after missing 16 games with a compression fracture in his right foot. Manager John Farrell planned on Ellsbury getting three at-bats. He went 1-for-2 with a walk and played three innings in the field. ... With no designated hitter, David Ortiz again started at 1B for the second straight game and sixth time this season. Farrell said regular 1B Mike Napoli, who last played Friday and has been bothered by plantar fasciitis for much of the second half of the season, might be back in the lineup Friday at Baltimore. ... Rockies CF Charlie Blackmon extended his career-high hitting streak to 10 games with a single in the third. ... Helton took the lineup card to home plate. The Rockies presented Helton, who has a ranch in the Denver area, with a horse during a pregame ceremony.