Red Sox 25, Marlins 8
BOSTON (AP)—The Boston Red Sox were enjoying a record-breaking performance when a hush fell over Fenway Park.
Boston set a major league record by scoring 10 runs before making an out and cruised to a 25-8 victory over Florida on Friday night—but it was marred by a frightening injury to Marlins pitcher Kevin Olsen.
Todd Walker’s seventh-inning line drive hit Olsen in the head and 34,764 fans fell silent. He was carted off the field on a stretcher and taken to the hospital, where he was in good condition with minor injuries.
“After I hit the pitcher, I was concerned about him,” Walker said. “I couldn’t think of much else.”
Tempers flared later in the game.
The benches emptied after Boston reliever Hector Almonte was ejected for throwing behind a batter. And Marlins manager Jack McKeon accused the Red Sox of running up the score in one of their greatest offensive performances ever.
“I didn’t realize your pitching was that bad over here at Boston that you would try to add on a 16-run lead in the seventh inning,” he said.
He was upset that with the score 21-5, Todd Walker tagged up from third on a short fly to center fielder Juan Pierre. Walker was thrown out, ending the inning, but Boston had two more sacrifice flies in the eighth.
McKeon didn’t blame Boston manager Grady Little, but Little understood the complaint.
“A couple of those balls went to the wall,” justifying a runner tagging up, he said, “but the one shallow fly ball that went to center field … I might even question that.”
That late offense contributed to Boston tying a team record with 28 hits and scoring the second most runs in team history. The records for runs and hits both came in a 29-4 win over the St. Louis Browns on June 8, 1950.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, baseball’s statistician, the previous record for runs scored before making an out was nine, set by the Philadelphia Phillies on Aug. 13, 1948, against the New York Giants.
The Red Sox equaled the AL mark for runs in the first inning with 14, one shy of the major league mark set by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1952, and raised their batting average from .294 to .297 in that inning alone.
But Fenway Park was quiet after Walker’s line drive hit Olsen on or just behind the right ear.
Olsen lay on the mound for nine minutes and moved his feet and blinked before being carried from the field on a stretcher. He was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, a few blocks from the ballpark.
Olsen’s injury was considered minor and he was in good condition, according to Dr. Richard Wolfe. Olsen was to be kept overnight at the hospital for observation.
“He was conscious,” McKeon said. “He was talking.”
Damon equaled a major league mark with three hits in an inning—a single, double and triple in the first.
“I had one of my worst batting practices of the year today,” Damon said.
“It was miserable. It was embarrassing,” Florida’s Mike Lowell said.
Boston scored in each of the next four innings for a 20-5 lead after five.
“I can’t put my finger on” what went wrong, Pavano said. “I’ve got another start in five or six days so I’m looking forward to that.”
Tempers flared when Almonte threw a pitch behind Andy Fox in the ninth after Florida’s Blaine Neal had hit Ortiz with a pitch the previous inning. After the pitch to Fox, the benches emptied but there was no contact.
Olsen entered to start the fourth and gave up RBI singles to Mueller and Varitek in the fourth and Kevin Millar in the fifth. Damon led off the seventh with a single. Walker then lined the ball off Olsen for a double.
The Red Sox have won five straight. Florida had won six of seven.
The Red Sox took a 16-1 lead on Ortiz’s two-run homer in the second inning.
Boston went 13-for-14 in the first with six extra-base hits, including a three-run homer by Ramirez, his 17th of the season. Nomar Garciaparra, the 12th batter, made the first out on a foul popup to catcher Ivan Rodriguez. The other two outs came on a sacrifice fly and a single on which Mueller was thrown out trying to score.
Byung-Hyun Kim (2-1) pitched five innings for the win. He allowedRodriguez’s RBI single in the first and four runs in the fifth, all unearned.
The 14 hits and 13 runs in the first against the Marlins were the most they’ve allowed in an inning. … Boston won its eighth straight game at FenwayPark. … Boston is 14 games over .500 for the first time this season.