CINCINNATI -- Manny was out of the lineup. Big Papi was out of town. The Boston Red Sox sure didn't look like themselves with their two biggest hitters gone.
Couldn't tell by the scoreboard, though.
Coco Crisp kept Boston's depleted lineup rolling by driving in four runs, and Jacoby Ellsbury homered and stole two more bases for a Red Sox rookie record in a 9-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday.
The Red Sox hit four homers in their most lopsided victory of the season, one they pulled off without their two biggest threats. Manny Ramirez sat out a second straight game with a sore right hamstring, and David Ortiz was in Boston taking care of a sore wrist.
Boston kept the wins coming -- 12 in its last 16 games.
"Those guys make us better, no doubt," Crisp said. "Without them, we were still able to put up some runs. It shows we're a good team without our two superstars."
J.D. Drew, Ellsbury and Crisp connected off Homer Bailey (0-3), who has lost each of his three starts this season and may be headed back to the minors. After the game, manager Dusty Baker was noncommittal when asked about Bailey's future.
"There's got to be some discussion," Baker said. "If you're not making pitches, and that's your job, you've got to figure out what's up and why. They hit him pretty good."
Josh Beckett (7-4) turned the big lead into his first career victory over the Reds, who hit him hard the two times he faced them with Florida. Beckett allowed six hits -- three by Joey Votto -- in seven innings.
Then, for the first time, the Red Sox left town smiling.
Boston took two of three in a city that holds nothing but bad memories for its fans. The Red Sox lost two of three in Cincinnati during the 1975 World Series, which the Big Red Machine finished off in Game 7 at Fenway Park.
Since then, the tradition-bound franchises have met twice in interleague series, with the Red Sox getting by far the better of it. Boston swept a three-game series at Fenway Park in 2005, and won the last two games over the weekend with a lineup missing its top two threats.
"We swung the bats early real well, we spread it out and had a good day at the ballpark," manager Terry Francona said.
Crisp was a catalyst the last two days. He and Kevin Youkilis hit solo homers in the 10th inning of a 6-4 win on Saturday. Crisp also hit a two-run shot off Bailey in the second inning, and had a bases-loaded single off Gary Majewski that made it 8-0 in the fifth.
Boston's lineup didn't play like it was depleted.
"We can get it from pretty much anywhere," Beckett said.
Even from the rookie.
Ellsbury opened the game with a single, stole second and third, and scored on Dustin Pedroia's sacrifice fly. Ellsbury's 33 steals are a club rookie record, two better than Amby McConnell's mark from 1908. Cleveland's Kenny Lofton stole 66 bases in 1992 for the American League record by a rookie.
"It's pretty neat to do something that hasn't been done in Red Sox history for 100 years," Ellsbury said. "Still, it's all about getting momentum in the game. I wouldn't say it's deflating to steal second and third then score, but it does establish momentum with Josh on the mound."
The 24-year-old Ellsbury also hit his fifth homer in the third inning.
"His legs come into play," Francona said. "He steals second and third. He's a great baserunner. He changes the game."
Drew followed with another solo shot off Bailey, who gave up five runs in only 2 1/3 innings. In his 12 starts over the last two seasons, the 22-year-old Bailey has more walks (38) than strikeouts (31) along with a 6.40 earned run average.
"It's a first for me," said Bailey, who was considered the Reds' top pitching prospect in a decade. "I guess everybody goes through stretches like this. I just have to figure it out."
Drew has been Boston's mainstay in June, batting .447 with seven homers and 16 RBI. Pedroia added a solo homer off Majewski.
- The four homers matched Boston's season high.
- The major league record for steals by a rookie is 110, set by the Cardinals' Vince Coleman in 1985.
- Ellsbury's 33 steals are the most for a Red Sox player under age 25 since Tris Speaker stole 52 bases in 1912 at the age of 24.
- C Jason Varitek was back in Boston's lineup after missing three games with an illness. He went 0-for-2 and walked twice.
- 1B Sean Casey got another standing ovation and waved his helmet to the crowd when he pinch-hit in the eighth.
- In his three starts this season, Bailey has given up six homers, walked 10 and allowed 12 earned runs in 12 1/3 innings.