April 16, 2013

Short-lived joy in a victory

The Sox win a thriller over the Rays and then learn of the Boston Marathon tragedy.

By HOWARD ULMAN/The Associated Press

BOSTON - The Red Sox and Rays were making their ways out of Fenway Park when two explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon were heard at the stadium.

Mike Napoli, Yunel Escobar
click image to enlarge

Boston’s Mike Napoli celebrates after his ninth-inning double brought home Dustin Pedroia with the winning run Monday afternoon during the annual Patriots Day game at Fenway Park.

Photos by The Associated Press

Ryan Dempster
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Ryan Dempster was at his best Monday, striking out 10 and allowing just two hits and two walks over seven innings in a no-decision against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Additional Photos Below

TUESDAY’S GAME

WHO: Red Sox (Doubront (0-0) at Indians (Jimenez (0-1)

WHEN: 7:05 p.m.

WHERE: NESN

The Red Sox beat the Rays 3-2 on an RBI double by Mike Napoli in the ninth inning on Monday in Boston's traditional Patriots Day morning game.

The game began at 11:05 a.m. and ended at about 10 minutes after 2 p.m. A little less than an hour after that, about a mile away, the explosions from Copley Square could be heard by those in and around Fenway -- but not in the clubhouses where the teams were getting ready to leave.

The players seemed unaware of the explosions as they were interviewed by reporters. In the Red Sox room, they dressed in suits and ties for their trip to Cleveland, where they're scheduled to start a three-game series against the Indians on Tuesday night.

A team spokesman sent a text message saying the Sox had reached the airport. And the Tampa Bay manager tweeted a few hours after the game: "Just landed safely in Baltimore. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims & the families affected by this afternoon's horrible event."

The game sent the Red Sox fans home happy -- at least for a while.

With the scored tied at 2, Napoli drove a line-drive double off the left-field wall in the ninth inning that scored Dustin Pedroia from first with the winning run.

"I was a little out front but I was able to keep my hands back," Napoli said. "My body went a little forward (and) I just kind of flicked my wrist at it."

Jarrod Saltalamacchia, whose solo homer in the fifth had given Boston a 2-1 lead, had a good view from the on-deck circle.

"It was awesome, a strong man to be able to hit a ball one handed out in front like that and just hit it off the top of the wall," he said, "but it's huge, a guy with that much power, it's a threat and it's nice to have that in our lineup."

Napoli, who signed as a free agent in the offseason, has been batting fourth while designated hitter David Ortiz recovers from Achilles tendon soreness. He is on a rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Pawtucket and could return shortly.

Left fielder Matt Joyce had a tough time handling the bounce off the Green Monster.

"I thought the ball would be off the wall so I tried to take the best angle to it," Joyce said. "It was one of those things where you rush and can't get it out of your glove. Then, when that tends to happen, you try to force the issue and the ball goes a little high."

The Rays had two hits before finally showing some offensive punch in the ninth when Desmond Jennings led off with a single, stole second and scored the tying run on a single by Ben Zobrist off Andrew Bailey (1-0).

Joel Peralta (0-1) retired Boston's first batter in the bottom of the ninth before walking Pedroia. Napoli then ended it.

The Red Sox had lost all three of their previous Patriots Day games against Tampa Bay.

"Hopefully they'll invite us back next year and we can get back on a streak," Maddon said.

It was also Jackie Robinson Day around the majors.

All uniformed team personnel wore the number 42 on their uniforms in recognition of Robinson, marking the 66th anniversary of his breaking the Major League Baseball color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

NOTES: Boston rookie LF Jackie Bradley Jr. is hitless in his last 20 at bats after going 0 for 3. ... The National Anthem was sung by the Berea Seventh Day Adventist Church Choir from Boston. Among the singers was 14-year-old Gabriel Clarke, who was shot in January on his way to choir practice.

 

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Additional Photos

Dustin Pedroia, Joel Peralta, Jose Lobaton
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Dustin Pedroia slides home with the winning run on a double by teammate Mike Napoli as Tampa Bay pitcher Joel Peralta and catcher Jose Lobaton walk away.

  


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