Red Sox 14, Mariners 3
BOSTON (AP)—The Red Sox welcomed the Seattle Mariners to Boston with a whole different kind of storm.
Pelting World Series star Jeff Weaver with seven runs in the first two innings, Boston celebrated its home opener with a 14-3 victory on Tuesday in the Mariners’ first game since a blizzard snowed them out of four straight in Cleveland.
“They were put in a tough situation for the last four days,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “We had an advantage, and we took advantage. Hopefully that will work for a couple days.”
Jason Varitek and Kevin Youkilis each had three of Boston’s 14 hits, and J.D. Drew homered in his first game for Boston at Fenway Park. Josh Beckett (2-0) pitched seven innings of two-hit ball, striking out eight and allowing one run while retiring his last 15 batters.
Boston also hit seven doubles and drew seven walks.
“We pulled out the whupping sticks today,” Beckett said. “They’ve been off for a while. It maybe affected their pitchers being able to throw strikes. You can’t go through our order and walk guys. You’re going to get burned.”
Weaver (0-1) was dismal in his first outing since pitching eight innings of four-hit ball in the final game of the St. Louis Cardinals’ World Series victory over Detroit. He allowed seven runs, seven hits and two walks, throwing 70 pitches in two innings.
“Yeah, we played like we hadn’t played in four days today,” Mariners manager Mike Hargrove said. “We pitched like it. We swung the bats like it. We played defense like it. We should be better tomorrow.”
It doesn’t get any easier for the Mariners: Daisuke Matsuzaka makes his Fenway debut on Wednesday night in a game Red Sox fans have been anticipating since the team committed $103 million for the Japanese ace in the offseason.
“When I look out into the field, I see a huge sign of Dunkin Donuts that’s in Japanese,” Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki said. “Just by looking at that, I can tell that it’s something big.”
Beckett fanned Suzuki in all three at-bats on Tuesday—just the second pitcher ever to do that following Tim Hudson on Sept. 19, 2003, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
“It’s hard to see Ichiro fan once,” Hargrove said. “He’s human. He’s awfully good, but he’s human.”
The only life the Mariners showed after their long layoff was when Jose Guillen gave reliever Brendan Donnelly a menacing stare after striking out at the start of the eighth. The two have a history dating to 2005, when they both played for the Los Angeles Angels and Guillen was suspended for a clubhouse tantrum.
Guillen was ejected and the benches cleared, but no punches were thrown. Donnelly hit the next batter, Kenji Johjima, and was ejected.
The Red Sox trotted out the usual opening-day fare, hanging bunting from the upper decks and bringing in Harry Connick Jr. to sing “America the Beautiful.” They also honored the 1967 “Impossible Dream” team that won the AL pennant, bringing them out from behind a giant U.S. flag covering the Green Monster as Robert Goulet sang “The Impossible Dream.”
Weaver put the first four runners of the game on base, then allowed a sacrifice fly to Drew and a two-run double to Coco Crisp. In the second, Julio Lugo and Kevin Youkilis doubled before Drew lined the ball to center for a two-run shot that gave Boston a 7-0 lead.
The Mariners made their much-delayed road debut. … Lugo reached safely on all four trips to the plate. … Only five of the 23 batters Beckett faced hit the ball out of the infield. … The 14 runs by the Red Sox were the second-most they’d ever scored in a home opener behind a 15-5 victory over the New York Yankees in 1973. … The Red Sox have scored in the first inning in six of seven games.