Red Sox honor Boston in first game since bombings
The Red Sox carried the memory of their hometown with them on Tuesday night. Mike Napoli hit a three-run double in a seven-run second inning as the Sox, playing with heavy hearts one day after deadly bombings back home, beat the Cleveland Indians 7-2.
The Sox were hoping to bring some relief to those affected by the tragedy, and they may have by winning their fourth straight game. The series opener was also Indians manager Terry Francona‘s first game against the Red Sox, the team he led to two World Series titles during eight seasons in Boston.
Cleveland did all it could to make the visitors welcome. A young Indians fan presented the Red Sox with a sign he wrote in red ink and ordained with hearts. The note, which was hung in Boston’s dugout, read: “From our city to your city: Our hearts and prayers go out to you, Boston. Love, Cleveland.”
Meanwhile, the Red Sox created a number of a tributes to their home season during the game. The team hung a jersey with No. 617 – Boston’s area code – and the words “Boston Strong” in the dugout Tuesday in honor of the victims of the Boston Marathon tragedy that occurred on Monday.
The jersey is in addition to a “Boston Strong” banner that the players signed before the game. Players on both teams wore black armbands, and before the game, the Fenway Park favorite “Sweet Caroline” was played.
Multiple people within the organization were involved in creating the remembrance, including home clubhouse manager Tom McLaughlin. Red Sox designated hitter Jonny Gomes suggested including “617.”
On the field, the Sox honored Boston by dominating their opponent. Helped by five walks, the Red Sox scored seven runs in the second off Ubaldo Jimenez (0-2) and gave Felix Doubront (1-0) all the support he needed. Working with a big lead, Doubront allowed two runs and four hits in five innings. He struck out seven.
Jimenez was atrocious in his two-inning stint. The righthander walked five, including two with the bases loaded, to force in a pair of runs.
In the second inning, Pedro Ciriaco hit a sacrifice fly and Jacoby Ellsbury had an RBI single off Jimenez, who was pulled after walking Pedroia with the bases loaded to walk in a run on his 59th pitch. Jimenez is 1-12 since the second half of last season.
The Indians got a run off Doubront in the second on Mike Aviles‘ sacrifice fly. They had a chance to catch up in the fifth, loading the bases with one out. A passed ball with two outs got Cleveland within 7-2, but Doubront got Mark Reynolds to pop to short right and end the threat.
It’s a good thing the Red Sox struck early on the scoreboard, as they struck out 16 times against five Cleveland pitchers throughout the game.
The Red Sox, who learned of the explosions as they left Fenway Park after Monday’s game, play two more games in Cleveland before they return home Friday to play the Kansas City Royals. The Boston Bruins will host the city’s first major sporting event since the attack Wednesday night when they take on the Buffalo Sabres.