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April 4, 2007
Red Sox earn first win of 07 season
In Monday’s season opener, Curt Schilling never gave his team a chance. Last night, in the second game of the season, it was the Kansas City Royals who were left helpless by a combination of the cold and strong Red Sox pitching.
Josh Beckett shut the Royals down on just two hits over five innings and got all the backing he would need before he even took the mound. The Sox provided him with three runs in the top of the first and cruised to an easy 7-1 victory for their first win of the 2007 season.
Mike Lowell slammed a two-run double for the big hit in the first and Kevin Youkilis provided a two-run homer as the capper in the seventh.
The Sox got four innings of quality relief from four different pitchers -- Javier Lopez, Kyle Snyder, J.C. Romero and Joel Pineiro. The quartet combined to limit the Royals to just one hit the rest of the way and ensure that they didn’t crawl back into the game.
Together, they retired nine out of 10 hitters from the sixth through the eighth.
In two games, the Boston bullpen has yielded just two runs over eight innings of work.
Beckett, beginning his second season with the Red Sox, did not enjoy a one-two-three inning over his five frames, but managed to limit the damage as the Royals stranded six baserunners over five innings, including three in scoring position. He walked four in his five innings and struck out five.
Beckett’s toughest inning came in the third and it came as a result of some uncharacteristically sloppy fielding from Lowell at third base. With one out, Lowell, who made three errors on the night, was charged with errors on consecutive plays, extending Beckett’s workload. But with baserunners at first and second, Beckett caught Mark Teahen looking at a called third strike before retiring Mike Sweeney on a flyout to right as J.D. Drew made a nice running catch in the gap.
The Royals got to Beckett for their only run in the fourth. Emil Brown walked with one out and went to third on a double to left by Ross Gload. A sacrifice fly to left from Jason LaRue plated Brown, but Beckett limited further damage by striking out Tony Pena Jr.
After five innings, with his pitch count at 94 and the temperature plummeting, Beckett’s night was over.
The Sox wasted little time gettiing to Kansas City starter Odalis Perez, scoring three runs in the first after two were out.
David Ortiz walked and Manny Ramirez singled him to second. Drew, one of the few Red Sox hitters to enjoy a solid afternoon at the plate Monday, drilled a double to right, scoring Ortiz and sending Ramirez to third.
Lowell, who clubbed 47 doubles in his first season with the Red Sox, picked up right where he left off last season, collecting his second in as many games, ripping a double to left that scored both Ramirez and Drew.
Perez seemed to settle down after that, retiring 11 of the next 12. But in the sixth, the Sox got to him again and he didn’t get out of the inning.
Ramirez drew a one-out walk before moving to second on Drew’s second base hit, a single to right, which signaled the end of Perez’s night. Reliever Joakim Soria walked Lowell to fill the bases and Jason Varitek’s sacrifice fly to right scored Ramirez.
The Sox kept piling on against the Kansas City bullpen. In the seventh against Todd Wellemeyer, Dustin Pedroia walked, was moved to second by a rare sacrifice and rode home on Youkilis’ first homer of the season.
It was more of the same in the eighth against Ryan Braun when a walk to Coco Crisp, a charitably ruled infield single for Pedroia and an opposite-field blooper to right from Lugo accounted for the Sox’ final run.
Posted by Corey Bourassa at 11:23 PM | Permalink
Update f-f-f-r-r-o-m-m-m KC
Greetings, all. It's cold here, with game-time temps expected to be around the freezing mark. That's almost a 50-degree drop from first pitch in Monday's opener.
Sox lineup is the same as Monday:
-- Sean McAdam
Posted by Sean McAdam at 5:38 PM to McAdam
Red Sox to unveil more seats in 'Conigliaro's Corner'
A doughnut shop advertisement behind the outfield bleachers proclaims “Welcome to Fenway” in Japanese, anticipating new Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka and the fans and media expected to arrive with him.
But they won't be the only newcomers in the Boston ballpark this season.
The Red Sox have added a new bleacher section on the roof deck in right field with 200 seats that will be sold for $25 apiece. They're calling it “Conigliaro's Corner” to honor Tony Conigliaro, a promising outfielder whose career was derailed after he was hit in the face by a pitch in 1967.
The new seats, marketed specifically for families, are part of an annual offseason renovation that in previous years included the addition of seats above the Green Monster and a batting cage off the Red Sox dugout. This year's project included a batting cage for visiting teams, new standing room behind the third-base grandstand and a locker room for ushers and concession staff.
About half of the luxury suites have been completely redone, and ramps and stairways have been reconfigured to make it easier for fans, and especially disabled ones, to move around the oldest and smallest ballpark in the major leagues.
Other changes include:
—A bleacher grill that will open during the season.
—A new boardroom on the luxury suite level.
—The first-ever women's bathroom on the third-base concourse.
—Cupholders for field box seats.
Structural improvements such as added sprinklers and electrical upgrades won't be visible to fans but will allow the Red Sox to increase the legal capacity to 38,805 — 1,151 more than last year and about 2,500 more than the capacity before renovations began under the current owners.
Much of the added capacity will be for standing room. But more than 16,000 extra tickets will be available this season in “Conigliaro's Corner.”
Tickets for the temporary metal bleachers, which resemble those from a high school football field, can be purchased in advance starting Thursday. But fans will get their actual tickets on the way into the ballpark, to keep them from scalpers.
Starting in May, the section will be reserved for the team's Red Sox Nation members on Saturdays and Red Sox Kid Nation members on Sundays.
“Some last-minute planning has allowed us to accommodate more kids and families in 2007,” Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said.
“Our partnership realizes that the demand for Red Sox tickets has made it more challenging for regular fans and families to secure tickets. This gesture, albeit a modest one, provides a direct route to Fenway Park for these people.”
The Red Sox have sold out 307 consecutive games and they have already sold 2,626,983 tickets for 2007 — the highest number ever sold before opening day, and enough to guarantee the sixth-highest final season total in franchise history.
Posted by Corey Bourassa at 5:32 PM | Permalink
Rice implodes with comments
Former Red Sox outfielder Jim Rice made more than a few inappropriate comments during the annual Pawtucket Red Sox Welcome Home Luncheon this afternoon at Kirkbrae Country Club in Lincoln.
During a Q & A with former teammate and Red Sox broadcaster Bob Montgomery, Rice was telling some interesting stories about his playing days, including his time in Pawtucket. The event was going along smoothly before it ended on a sour note.
Near the end Montgomery asked Rice if he had any advice for the PawSox players who were in attendance.
Rice basically told the players, and a room of over 400 people, that greed and cheating are good. People in attendance, including the players, were stunned by his remarks.
PawSox owner Ben Mondor, a friend of Rice, said yesterday he is dedicating all his efforts this season to get the former Red Sox slugger into Baseball's Hall of Fame. While Rice certainly has the statistics worthy of a plague in Cooperstown, there has been a public debate for years whether he deserves to be enshrined because of his so-called "bad-guy image" with the Baseball Writers' Association of America during his playing days.
More to come. . .
Posted by Joe McDonald at 4:23 PM | Permalink
| Comments 1
The 'I bought Manny's grill' T-shirt
Now for sale on eBay: a black T-shirt with the message: "I bought Manny Ramirez's grill for $99,999,999.00."
The quote of the hour (posted Monday) on David Gonos' CBS SportsLine blog is this ominous warning: "The next announcer that says, 'Manny is just being Manny,' is going to get stabbed in the eye with scissors."
Marcus Hayes of The Philadelphia Daily News notes that Manny's weak grand slam off Brett Myers one hot Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia marked Citizens Bank Park as a pitcher's hell. This year the club has moved back the left-field wall that Ramirez just barely cleared by 20 feet. Editor's Note: I was at that game, and I don't feel sorry for Myers.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 1:07 PM to Projo Mannybeingmanny
Projo SoxTalk with Art Martone
In today's edition of our audio feature, sports editor Art Martone and baseball writer Joe McDonald take a look at some of the top prospects that we'll see in Pawtucket this season. Click here to listen to the file.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 11:29 AM to Martone
Baseball Today: Wednesday, April 4
A look at the world of baseball, with a focus on the local and the, ah, interesting . . .
THE OLD TOWNE TEAM: A look at the Japanese media horde following the Red Sox through the eyes of outsiders (Kansas City Star) . . . Sean McAdam has an interesting off-day piece on Kyle Snyder (projo.com) . . . Joe McDonald was at Media Night at McCoy Stadium (projo.com)
FEELING THE LOVE: The Royals are still basking in the glow of Monday's Opening Day rout of the Red Sox. (Kansas City Star)
BIGGEST PAPI: Old friend Allan Wood points out that if David Ortiz hits 55 or more home runs this year, he will become the first player in baseball history to increase his home-run total for eight consecutive seasons. (joyofsox.blogspot.com)
WHO'S MISSING FROM THIS PICTURE? The good folks at the Baseball Think Factory enjoy mlb.com's Milestone Tracker, but they point out there's something wrong here. Where's that guy . . . you know the one, big head, bad attitude, potential legal problems, about to overtake Hank Aaron and break the all-time home-run record . . . yeah, him. Isn't he on this? (mlb.com)
(It's like my mother used to say: Pretending the problem doesn't exist doesn't make it go away.)
YOU CAN GO HOME AGAIN: Andy Pettitte is pumped and jacked about today's start, his first start since returning to the Yankees (New York Daily News).
HERE'S TO YOU, BERNIE: In Jon Heyman's Opening Day musings from Yankee Stadium, he writes [to] pay tribute to [Bernie] Williams in their own way, Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui made some of the worst throws from the outfield that anyone has seen in years. If that's why they were doing it, I imagine Johnny and Hideki will be honoring Bernie all season long. (si.com) . . . Speaking of the Yankee opener, the site Bronx Banter has pictures, including a few of the new stadium under construction. (bronxbanter.baseballtoaster.com)
ENJOY HIM WHILE YOU CAN: Steven Goldman thinks Yankee fans should appreciate George Steinbrenner, because his reign is nearing an end and who knows if his successor will be as dedicated to success as he's been. (New York Sun)
CAN WE AT LEAST WAIT UNTIL THE LEAVES COME OUT? Two days into the season, and we have columnists saying that Ozzie Guillen's job is safe despite the White Sox' Opening Day loss (Chicago Sun-Times) and Charlie Manuel shouldn't be on the hot seat in Philadelphia (Philadelphia Inquirer). Imagine if their teams were 0-2 instead of 0-1.
BRING IT ON: Of course, it doesn't really help when Ozzie himself says the White Sox should fire him if they don't win. (Chicago Sun-Times)
LOCAL BOYS: Chris Ianetta was the hero in the Rockies' extra-inning win last night. (Denver Post) . . . Unfortunately, the news wasn't as rosy for Dan Wheeler in Houston (Houston Chronicle) . . . It's only local because Rocco Baldelli plays for them, but the New York Sun's Tim Marchman can't understand why, with all their talent, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays are still so bad. (New York Sun)
OLD FRIENDS: Josh Bard continues to make Theo Epstein look bad (San Diego Union-Tribune) . . . Freddy Sanchez is about to begin his rehab assignment (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).
UM, MR. MAYOR? HOME PLATE'S THAT WAY: Check out the Opening Day first-ball toss from Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory. (skipperstyle.com)
-- ART MARTONE
Posted by Art Martone at 7:07 AM | Permalink