Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Red Sox Win Home Opener. Beat Blue Jays 5-3.

After a rocky start in the first inning that saw Red Sox starting pitcher Josh Beckett walk in a run, the young righthander settled down nicely as the Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 at Fenway Park yesterday afternoon in their 2006 home opener.

The Sox, now 6-1, scored four runs in the second inning to take a lead they would never relinquish. Beckett won his second game in as many starts, and gave the Sox seven innings after his nervous first frame. Third baseman Mike Lowell had four hits, including three doubles to pace the attack. First baseman Kevin Youkilis added two hits and a double, and center fielder Adam Stern hit a double and stole a base. DH David Ortiz also had two hits, including his second home run of the season to cap the offense.

Keith Foulke surrendered a two-run homer in the 8th inning to Sox nemesis Frank Catalanotto (I swear, that little so-and-so must be hitting at least .450 in his career against the Sox) that went off of right fielder Wily Mo Pena's* glove as the big guy mis-timed his leap at the right field wall. The ball landed in the bullpen for the homer, but there was no further scoring as new closer Jonathan Papelbon closed the door in the ninth inning by getting the side in order with a strikeout and two harmless fly balls.

The now Sox and Jays do it again tonight at Fenway with portly lefthander David Wells toeing the rubber for the Sox in his first start of the season.

* Note: Bronson Arroyo, the pitcher the Sox traded to the Reds for Pena hit his second home run of the season in yesterday's Reds 9-2 ass-whipping of the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Arroyo, who pitched seven scoreless innings (lowering his ERA to 1.98) en route to his second win in as many starts for his new club, is now 2-for-4 (.500) at bat, with both hits being his first two major league homers. Arroyo was 4-for-55 as a hitter before the start of the season. Pena, on the other hand, is 1-for-5 (.200) with three strikeouts in the three games in which he has appeared.

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