On a normal night at Fenway Park, Felix Doubront would have been the center of attention seeing how he was making his MLB debut for the Boston Red Sox against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night. But it was far from anything normal as Manny Ramirez returned to the scene of the crime so to speak.
And oh yeah by the way, another ghost of Red Sox past just happened to be in the house sitting in the Green Monster seats. Any ideas? I'll give you a hint. He's accused of using steroids and played in New York. Give up?? Ok, it was Roger Clemens.
Of course no one knew Clemens was coming to the Fens except for NESN's Peter Gammons who hinted at a probable appearance by the Rocket. Anyways, enough of past. Let's focus on the present here.
If Doubront had any nerves in his first start, he wasn't showing them in his first two innings. He started the game with a strikeout of Matt Kemp and set down the next five batters he faced. He ran into problems in the third though.
After Ronnie Belliard started with a double, Doubront made an error fielding a throw from Youk that allowed Belliard to score. A Jamey Carroll sac bunt, Kemp triple and a Russell Martin groundout tied the game up at three. He did settle down after that allowing just a walk to Martin over the next two innings.
But a 36 minute wait after the offense got seven runs in the 5th was the downfall of Doubront as the Dodgers started with three straight hits that netted two runs to cut the deficit to five at 10-5. After a walk to Belliard, Doubront exited the field to an ovation from the Fenway Faithful.
From there, Scott Atchison was spectacular. Ironically enough, Atchison's job was spared when Doubront was called up and he rewarded them with three perfect innings including five strikeouts. Dustin Richardson ran into a little trouble but Daniel Bard bailed him out to pick up his third save of 2010.
Offensively the Red Sox are clicking right now.
David Ortiz continues to swing a hot stick as it was his two-run homer that got offense going. It was his only hit of the night and he ended up walking three times. Oh by the way, the home run by Big Papi was the 274th of his Red Sox career which ties him with Manny for fifth all time in Red Sox history.
And Adrian Beltre added another one of his "marriage proposal" home runs off one knee. And Dustin Pedroia continues to see his average rise as he had another two hits to run his hitting streak to eight games.
The one bad thing that came from last night's game was a hamstring suffered by J.D. Drew. He's scheduled to undergo an MRI at some point today. He did have a home run that came after a review by the umpiring crew.
We'll be back later with this afternoon's lineups, batter/pitcher matchups, news and any links from the day.
For more slices of Red Sox goodness, head over to the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, ESPN Boston, NESN, Providence Journal and WEEI websites.
And if you must check out the enemy papers, you can head over to the LA Daily News, LA Times and Orange County Register websites.