Josh Beckett had another shaky beginning (three walks and 36 pitches in the first, though he was getting squeezed here and there), but he settled down, kept his pitch count low and again went deep into the game: 7-3-1-4-2. His pitches: 36-15-12 14-13-5 10 = 105.Blue Jays - 100 000 020 - 3 5 0
Red Sox - 040 000 10x - 5 10 0
Boston batted around and scored four times off Josh Towers in the second, with Adam Stern doubling home two of the runs (he then stole third). David Ortiz crushed a 3-0 pitch for a solo shot in the 8th; he now has as many HR this season as Bronson Arroyo (who also hit his 2nd today).
Mike Lowell went 4-for-4, with three doubles, Kevin Youkilis had two hits and an RBI at the leadoff spot, and Jon Papelbon was again lights out in the 9th.
Keith Foulke pitched the 8th and gave up a two-run home run to Frank Catalanotto. Wily Mo Pena, who took over in right for Trot Nixon (mild groin strain), had a bead on it, but the ball hit off his glove when he banged into the low bullpen wall and went over the fence. It was certainly catchable -- but Foulke's pitch was a batting practice fastball. Pena ended up catching three more flies in the next 1.2 innings and got a nice hand for all of them.
The Yankees battled back to beat the mighty Royals in their home opener, 9-7. As I type, the Red Sox are 6-1 and the other four AL East teams are 3-4.
1:15 PM -- Happy Birthdays to Jason Varitek (34) and Trot Nixon (32)! ... A few other big leaguers born on April 11: Mark Teixeira, Kelvim Escobar, Bret Saberhagen and Ossee Schreckengost.
Opening Ceremonies webcast on CBS4 (or some clips, anyway).
Slight edit to the Sox lineup -- Youkilis goes to the top, Stern to 8th:
Also, Crisp was put on the 15-day DL (retroactive to April 9) and Dustan Mohr (#18) was called up from Pawtucket.Youkilis 1B Adams SS
Loretta 2B Catalanotto LF
Ortiz DH Wells CF
Ramirez LF Glaus 3B
Nixon RF Overbay 1B
Varitek C Hillenbrand DH
Lowell 3B Molina C
Stern CF Hinske RF
Gonzalez SS Hill 2B
10:00 AM -- David Ortiz's contract extension calls for an annual salary of $12.5 million from 2007 to 2010 (plus a $2-million signing bonus). There is no buyout for the club's $12.5 option for 2011.
Keith Foulke pitched a quick and perfect eigthth inning on Sunday in Baltimore, striking out Brian Roberts and Corey Patterson and getting David Newhan to pop out to first base. ... Foulke: "My velocity's back up in the high 80's but more importantly, it's getting in on hitters pretty quick and that's what I need to do. I need to get the ball to the catcher's mitt more by keeping hitters off balance and guessing and making defensive swings." ... Francona: "That's as good as I've seen Foulke throw in a long time. If he throws like that, we're going to have some kind of bullpen."
The Red Sox are set to begin their 95th season at Fenway Park.
Previews: Toronto / Boston.