Due to Josh Beckett's back injury, second-year pitcher, Daisuke Matsuzaka got the chance to start off the Boston Red Sox season as the number 1 starter. The Sox went head-to-head with the Oakland A's in Tokyo today (6:05 AM ET on ESPN2). Joe Blanton made the start for the A's.
The high-powered Sox lineup started off slow, as Blanton held them scoreless until the 6th inning, when Manny Ramirez tied the game with a 2-run double, and scored a few minutes later to give the Sox their first lead of the game. A few batters later, Blanton (5.2 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 3 K's, 1 BB) was taken out, and replaced by reliever Alan Embree, the former Boston pitcher.
Boston reliever, 30-year old Kyle Snyder, blew the lead in the bottom of the inning, giving up a 2R-HR off the bat of third baseman, Jack Hannahan, which was just his fourth career big-league round tripper, Bobby Crosby scored on the homer, and Oakland found themselves back ahead of the Sox, 4-3. In the 8th inning, Keith Foulke came in to pitch for the A's, and held the Sox to a 1-2-3 8th inning, picking up the hold, and giving the A's a good chance off coming away with a one-run win. But, Boston RF, Brandon Moss had other plans. Moss hit his first career big-league homer in the 9th to tie the game at 5 a piece, and send the game into extra innings.
Manny came up big again in the 10th, doubling to deep centerfield, and picking up two more RBI's (recorded 4 total) in the process. Huston Street was replaced by the lefty, Lenny DiNardo, who finished the inning with no more harm done. In the bottom half of the 10th inning, the A's managed to score one run on a Emil Brown double, which scored Daric Barton. But, Brown was tagged out at third, trying to stretch the double. So, Boston holds off the A's, and picks up win number one on the season. Huston Street was given the Loss, and blown save, and the win went to reliever Hideki Okajima, and Jonathan Papelbon earned the save.
- Manny went 2 for 5, with 2 doubles, 4 RBI's, and 1 run scored, with 1 K. Manny was, in my book, the player of the game, giving the Sox their first lead, and then locking up the win for the Sox with his SECOND 2 RBI double in the top of the tenth.
- David "Big Papi" Ortiz went 0 for 4, but did score a run after being walked intentionally by closer Huston Street. Ortiz left 5 guys on base, but don't expect that to happen too often, he is usually great with guys on base.
- Power-hitting OFer, Jack Cust went 0 for 4 with 4 K's in the A's loss. Don't be surprised to see a him do that a few more times this year, Cust is an all-or-nothing hitter.
I am so glad Baseball is finally here, and I am very excited this season. Anxious to see how the well Sox defend their Championship, and I expect them to still be playing in October, and November. Don't forget, game 2 tomorrow, same time, same place. Jon Lester will be on the mound for the Sox, and will go up against the A's ace, Rich Harden. I expect it to be another good game, like today's game.
Possible Boston Headline: