Sunday, April 03, 2005

Yankees 9 Red Sox 2

Randy Johnson did just what the Yankees acquired him to do by neutralizing the Red Sox bats in the 2005 season opener.

The Red Sox did take an early lead in the second inning with Jay Payton's RBI single that followed a David Ortiz double and a Kevin Millar groundout. After that, Johnson was efficient in shutting down the bats.

David Wells, on the other hand, got hit fairly hard as the Yankee batters had good swings against him. He left the game down 4-1, and was lucky that Mike Myers got a double play grounder off the bat of Tony Womack with the bases loaded in the fifth inning or else it could have been a much worse Red Sox debut for the portly lefthander.

Mr. Wells also committed a stupid balk that allowed a run to score. Red Sox manager Terry Francona allowed newcomer Blaine Neal to warm up four separate times when Wells was struggling before he came on after Myers' short stint. Surprise, surprise, Neal had nothing left and the Yanks put two more runs across against him and Alan Embree in the sixth.

It appeared that Yankee manager Joe Torre was doing the Red Sox a favor by bringing Tanyon Strurtze in relief in the top of the seventh, but he pitched two perfect innings with three strikeouts.

Mike Timlin pitched a scoreless seventh for the Red Sox, but another newcomer, Matt Mantei, gave up a two-run homer to Hideki Matsui, and another run scored when John Halama let a little squibber off the bat of Derek Jeter squirt through the wickets.

The Sox managed one more run when Tom Gordon game in to pitch the ninth. He walked Kevin Millar. Jason Varitek followed with a single off the right field wall that moved Millar to third. Millar then scored on pinch-hitter Trot Nixon's fly ball to center. Gordon then retired Bill Mueller on a short fly to right, then struck out Mark Bellhorn, one of three whiffs for Bellhorn.

Oh well, one down, 161 to go...

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