Red Sox set or tie records in 25-8 romp

BOSTON (AP) -- The Boston Red Sox were enjoying a record-breaking

performance when a hush fell over Fenway Park.

Johnny Damon


Center Field

Boston Red Sox

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Boston set a major league record by scoring 10 runs before

making an out and cruised to a 25-8 victory over Florida on Friday

night -- but it was marred by a frightening injury to Marlins

pitcher Kevin Olsen.

Todd Walker's seventh-inning line drive hit Olsen in the head

and 34,764 fans fell silent. He was carted off the field on a

stretcher and taken to the hospital, where he was in good condition

with minor injuries.

"After I hit the pitcher, I was concerned about him,'' Walker

said. "I couldn't think of much else.''

Tempers flared later in the game.

The benches emptied after Boston reliever Hector Almonte was

ejected for throwing behind a batter. And Marlins manager Jack

McKeon accused the Red Sox of running up the score in one of their

greatest offensive performances ever.

"I didn't realize your pitching was that bad over here at

Boston that you would try to add on a 16-run lead in the seventh

inning,'' he said.

He was upset that with the score 21-5, Todd Walker tagged up

from third on a short fly to center fielder Juan Pierre. Walker was

thrown out, ending the inning, but Boston had two more sacrifice

flies in the eighth.

McKeon didn't blame Boston manager Grady Little, but Little

understood the complaint.

"A couple of those balls went to the wall,'' justifying a

runner tagging up, he said, "but the one shallow fly ball that

went to center field ... I might even question that.''

That late offense contributed to Boston tying a team record with

28 hits and scoring the second most runs in team history. The

records for runs and hits both came in a 29-4 win over the St.

Louis Browns on June 8, 1950.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, baseball's statistician,

the previous record for runs scored before making an out was nine,

set by the Philadelphia Phillies on Aug. 13, 1948, against the New

York Giants.

The Red Sox equaled the AL mark for runs in the first inning

with 14, one shy of the major league mark set by the Brooklyn

Dodgers in 1952, and raised their batting average from .294 to .297

in that inning alone.

But Fenway Park was quiet after Walker's line drive hit Olsen on

or just behind the right ear.

Olsen lay on the mound for nine minutes and moved his feet and

blinked before being carried from the field on a stretcher. He was

taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, a few blocks from the

ballpark.

Olsen's injury was considered minor and he was in good

condition, according to Dr. Richard Wolfe. Olsen was to be kept

overnight at the hospital for observation.

"He was conscious,'' McKeon said. "He was talking.''

For Boston, Bill Mueller had a career-high six RBIs, Jason

Varitek had four and Johnny Damon, Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz and

Walker three each.

Damon equaled a major league mark with three hits in an inning --

a single, double and triple in the first.

"I had one of my worst batting practices of the year today,''

Damon said.

In Boston's 50-minute first inning, Carl Pavano (6-9) Michael

Tejera and Allen Levrault threw a total of 91 pitches -- with only

Levrault retiring a batter.

"It was miserable. It was embarrassing,'' Florida's Mike Lowell

said.

Boston scored in each of the next four innings for a 20-5 lead

after five.

"I can't put my finger on'' what went wrong, Pavano said.

"I've got another start in five or six days so I'm looking forward

to that.''

Tempers flared when Almonte threw a pitch behind Andy Fox in the

ninth after Florida's Blaine Neal had hit Ortiz with a pitch the

previous inning. After the pitch to Fox, the benches emptied but

there was no contact.

Olsen entered to start the fourth and gave up RBI singles to

Mueller and Varitek in the fourth and Kevin Millar in the fifth.

Damon led off the seventh with a single. Walker then lined the ball

off Olsen for a double.

The Red Sox have won five straight. Florida had won six of

seven.

The Red Sox took a 16-1 lead on Ortiz's two-run homer in the

second inning.

Boston went 13-for-14 in the first with six extra-base hits,

including a three-run homer by Ramirez, his 17th of the season.

Nomar Garciaparra, the 12th batter, made the first out on a foul

popup to catcher Ivan Rodriguez. The other two outs came on a

sacrifice fly and a single on which Mueller was thrown out trying

to score.

Byung-Hyun Kim (2-1) pitched five innings for the win. He

allowed Rodriguez's RBI single in the first and four runs in the

fifth, all unearned.

Game notes
The 14 hits and 13 runs in the first against the Marlins

were the most they've allowed in an inning. ... Boston won its

eighth straight game at Fenway Park. ... Boston is 14 games over

.500 for the first time this season.