BOSTON (AP) -- Johnny Damon stepped to the plate to lead off the
game and was booed for 30 seconds by the crowd at Fenway Park.
Somewhere in there, though, were just enough cheers to make him
raise his new Yankees helmet.
"I planned on doing it if I heard enough cheering, and I did,"
But the Red Sox fans saved their loudest cheers for David Ortiz,
who hit a three-run homer into a strong wind, giving the Red Sox a
7-3 win over the New York Yankees on Monday night and spoiling
Damon's return to Boston.
Damon was booed in each of his other three at-bats and went
"You know they're booing a uniform now," he said. "They don't
boo bad players. They boo good players."
Damon could only stand and watch from a few feet away as Ortiz's
11th homer of the season sailed into Boston's bullpen in
right-center field in the eighth.
Mark Loretta, in a 1-for-17 slump, had broken a 3-3 tie with an
RBI single earlier in the inning in his first game as part of
baseball's biggest rivalry. The first series of the season between
the teams wraps up Tuesday night.
"What an atmosphere," said Loretta, traded from San Diego in
the offseason. "Every game at Fenway Park has been electric, but
tonight was extra electric and (there was) a great buzz out
That usually happens when the teams face each other. Throw in
Damon's return after four years as a fan favorite -- before he left
as a free agent -- and the crowd was excited even before the first
"It was kind of sad," Boston's Kevin Youkilis said of the
reaction to Damon. "He acknowledged the crowd (with his helmet)
and they didn't want any part of it."
Fans even taunted Damon, chanting "Johnny! Johnny!" after
Damon couldn't do much with the previous batter either. He could
only trot in to pick up Loretta's single through the middle off
Mike Timlin (3-0) got the win with help from Jonathan Papelbon,
who retired the side in order in the ninth with two strikeouts and
is unscored upon in 15 1-3 innings this season. Aaron Small (0-1)
took the loss after going 10-0 for the Yankees last season.
It was a bad night for another former Red Sox player. Mike
Myers, Boston's lefty specialist last year, entered the game after
the single by Loretta and gave up Ortiz's drive on a full count.
"You had to hit it good with the wind blowing like 100 miles an
hour," Ortiz said.
Manager Joe Torre marveled at Ortiz's power.
"If anybody is going to do it, Big Papi is going to find his
way through the wind," Torre said. "I just thought the count was
probably the difference. He had to throw a strike."
Another returning player who had a more pleasant night was
Boston catcher Doug Mirabelli, reacquired earlier Monday from San
Diego where he had been traded for Loretta last December. Boston
obtained him to resume his role as knuckleballer Tim Wakefield's
personal catcher after Josh Bard, who went to the Padres, had 10
passed balls in Wakefield's four previous starts.
Mirabelli arrived at Fenway 13 minutes before the game and went
0-for-4 but didn't have a passed ball and threw out a runner trying
"You can't even imagine how much work went into just getting
here," he said. "I don't think I have been that nervous in a
ballgame ever in my career."
Before the game, Damon, who spent the past four seasons with
Boston, said, "I'm just really excited about taking the field"
and he wasn't nervous.
When he was retired in the first on an easy popup to right
fielder Trot Nixon, the crowd roared when he reached second and
turned back toward the visitors' dugout. Damon was retired easily
in his next three at-bats on a groundout to Wakefield, a popup to
third and a groundout to second.
When he took the field in the bottom of the first, fans threw
pieces of green paper on the warning track behind him. Most of it
was fake money but some real bills were mixed in. Damon signed a
four-year contract with New York worth $52 million, $12 million
more than Boston offered over the same span.
The Red Sox took a 1-0 lead in the first when Youkilis led off
with a walk, took second on a groundout and scored on a single by
Wakefield allowed just a hit and a walk through three innings
before falling behind 3-1 in the fourth. The Yankees loaded the
bases with no outs on a single by Derek Jeter and walks to Jason
Giambi and Alex Rodriguez.
Boston tied it in the fourth when Alex Cora and Youkilis singled
before Loretta bunted into a forceout at third. Ortiz loaded the
bases with a single before Manny Ramirez singled in one run and
Nixon tied it with an RBI groundout to first.
In the eighth, Cora walked and Youkilis was hit by a pitch
before Loretta's single to Damon broke the tie.
Mirabelli threw out Miguel Cairo trying to steal on a
pitchout in the third. At San Diego, Mirabelli threw out two of six
players attempting to steal. ... Small pitched his first game after
being activated Sunday from the disabled list where he had been
since the start of the season.
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