Red Sox 10, Giants 2
BOSTON (AP)—Barry Bonds is 742 homers ahead of Dustin Pedroia on the all-time list, but the diminutive Red Sox rookie can make a claim that the would-be home run king can’t: He’s homered at Fenway Park.
Playing for the first time in Babe Ruth’s first major-league ballpark, Bonds went 1-for-3 and failed to gain ground on Hank Aaron despite a long fly ball that was inches foul of being No. 748. Pedroia left no doubt with his liner over the Green Monster, one of a career-high five hits to help Boston beat the San Francisco Giants 10-2 on Friday night.
“He’s looking for some home runs. He’s looking to break the record,” said Red Sox starter Julian Tavarez, who gave a mini-Carlton Fisk wave at Bonds’ shot in an attempt to nudge it foul. “When he hit that ball away, I was telling it, ‘Go foul! Go foul!’ I got a lot of help from the fans.”
Pedroia had a career-high five RBIs, and slumping J.D. Drew had three hits as Boston stopped a two-game losing streak and moved 8 1/2 games ahead of the Yankees in the AL East. Unbeaten in six starts, Tavarez (4-4) allowed two runs, six hits and two walks—including an intentional one to Bonds—in seven innings.
The 10 runs matched Boston’s output from the five previous games combined. They scored seven against Barry Zito (6-7)—six earned—on five hits and four walks in 5 1-3 innings. Zito, who struck out five, had been 3-1 with a 1.50 ERA in his previous four starts.
Bonds has homered in 35 different ballparks in a 22-year career, but never in the House that Built Ruth. Pedroia has homered in three different ballparks during his four-month career, including Friday night’s two-run shot over the Green Monster that made it 2-2 before Zito recorded his first out.
Drew, who signed a five-year, $70 million contract in the offseason, batted .180 over a 41-game span to drop his average from .375 to .230 and hear some boos from the hometown crowd. He was hit by a pitch before Pedroia’s homer, he singled and scored in the third and he doubled in two runs in the fourth, then scored himself on Pedroia’s double to make it 6-2.
Pedroia is batting .417 over his last 32 games to raise his average from .172 to .331.
“The first month of the season, we spent so much time trying to defend him. He wasn’t hitting,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “But he plays the ball all over the ballpark. And, man, he makes contact. There’s a lot of things in his favor.”
Dave Roberts went 2-for-4 for the Giants in his first game in Boston since his ninth-inning stolen base in Game 4 of the 2004 AL championship series sparked the Red Sox to an unprecedented comeback against the Yankees. Although he didn’t even play in the World Series, when the Red Sox swept the St. Louis Cardinals, the stolen base alone guarantees him a standing ovation whenever his name is mentioned at Fenway.
Not so for Bonds.
The face of the steroid scandal was booed when he came out for batting practice, and again every time he went to the plate. Fans wore T-shirts adorned with asterisks and chanted “Steroids!” at the lifetime National Leaguer who had never been inside the ballpark.
“Barry asked me, ‘Is it always like this? With the buzz, the media?”’ Roberts said. “And I said, ‘Every time you play the Yankees, it’s like this. It’s a playoff environment.”’
Bonds quieted the crowd in his first-ever Fenway at-bat with a long fly ball that sailed above the Pesky Pole—just 302 feet from home plate down the right-field line. First base umpire Charlie Reliford watched, hesitated, and then raised his arms and signaled that it was a foul ball.
“He said it was clear in his mind,” said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who complained briefly to no avail. “It was one of those where it was so high. I think if you ask everybody, it might have been one of those 50-50 deals. Some probably thought it was fair, some thought it was foul. He was right there.”
Bonds stopped short of first base, smiled, and returned to the batter’s box, stuck at 747. He took another ball and then popped out to second base.
“What do you want me to do, huh? What do you want me to do?” Bonds said about the smile. Then when reporters asked if he felt a homer was taken away, Bonds said, “Are we back at that question again? I’ve got to go, guys.”
After surpassing Ruth’s 714 home runs last year and hitting eight in April to threaten Aaron’s 755, Bonds has just five homers in the past six weeks.
In the lineup as designated hitter, Bonds was intentionally walked in the third and was thrown out by Pedroia from short right field on a sixth-inning grounder.
The Giants had not visited Fenway in the regular season since 1915, when they faced the Boston Braves. The New York Giants also played the Red Sox in the 1912 World Series. … Boston’s Manny Ramirez had a run-scoring fielder’s choice in the third inning for his 1,551st RBI, moving him past Fred McGriff into 37th place on the all-time list. … Drew had three hits in consecutive games June 8-9, then went 0-for-11 before notching three more on Friday. … Giants 1B Ryan Klesko was scratched from the lineup with sore hips. Mark Sweeney took his place in the field. … Red Sox DH David Ortiz was ejected for arguing a called third strike in the first inning. Ortiz complained only briefly to home plate umpire Tony Randazzo before heading back to the dugout. Randazzo tossed him shortly thereafter. It was the sixth time in his career that Ortiz has been thrown out of a game, the first since Aug. 19, 2005. … The Red Sox observed a moment of silence in memory of former Boston Globe baseball writer Larry Whiteside, who died Friday at the age of 69.