DENVER (AP) — Todd Helton showed a flair for the dramatic in his final game at Coors Field. Will Middlebrooks found a place on the stage as well.
Helton homered, doubled and drove in three runs, but the Boston Red Sox used Middlebrooks' two homers and career-high seven RBIs to beat the Colorado Rockies 15-5 Wednesday night.
Helton also had a sacrifice fly in his Colorado farewell. The first baseman is retiring at the end of his 17th season with the Rockies.
Middlebrooks hit his third career grand slam and a three-run homer. The Red Sox, who clinched the AL East title last week, moved two games ahead of Oakland for the best record in the league and home-field advantage throughout the postseason.
"It's good to see him in the stretch he's been in of late, to not only drive the ball out of the ballpark but stay on the ball and drive it out to right field," Red Sox manager John Farrell said of Middlebrooks. "That's when we feel like he's got good plate coverage and he's at his best."
Middlebrooks went the opposite way to right with a three-run shot off Rob Scahill in the fifth and pulled an 0-2 curveball off Roy Oswalt into left for his second slam this month.
"When I'm hitting the ball well, it goes all over the place," Middlebrooks said. "He fooled me. He threw me a slow curveball and I thought he was going to speed me up. I was late on a swing before when he threw me a heater and I thought he was going to throw another one. But he threw a 64, 65 mph curveball, and it caught me a little off guard."
Still, he got enough of it to knock it out of the park and break the game wide open.
"It was an up and down night to be honest," Middlebrooks said. "I had a couple of bad at bats and a couple of good at bats. But I can't complain. It ended up being a good night, because it helped us win the game."
David Ortiz hit a two-run double to reach 100 RBIs this season. Jacoby Ellsbury didn't take long to energize the Red Sox lineup as he returned after missing 16 games with a fractured right foot — he singled, walked and scored twice before being replaced in the fourth.
"First at bat, it looked like he didn't miss at any time at all," Farrell said. "He came out of it feeling the same as when he started, so that was the most important thing."
Jake Peavy (12-5) settled down after a shaky start to earn his first win since Aug. 31. He allowed five runs and gave up eight hits in six innings.