Welcome to Patriots' Day 2014. Today, like all other Patriots' Days, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts celebrates with the running of the Boston Marathon and the traditional 11 o'clock start of a Red Sox game.
This one will be different, though, as more than one million people are expected to line the streets and 36,000 runners will make the 26.2 mile trek from Hopkinton to Boylston St. Today marks a new beginning, as those whose lives were lost and those whose lives were changed forever are honored and recognized. It's a chance to make this great event bigger and better, and to show those who try to damage the spirit of Bostonians, New Englanders and Americans, you picked the wrong city to mess with.
While the Marathon runners will make their way through Kenmore Square on Comm Ave., turn right on Hereford and left onto Boylston for that final sprint, the Red Sox will don their familiar home white jerseys with an alternative script against the Baltimore Orioles. Instead of "Red Sox" across their chests, it will simply read "Boston," an ode to the resilient city and its people.
Clay Buchholz gets the start for Boston (9-10). Buchholz is 0-1 with a 5.51 ERA through three starts. In his last two outings, he's given up two earned runs with six strikeouts in six innings each. He's in search of his first win and could bring joy to Red Sox Nation on this Marathon Monday by doing so.
Here's the Red Sox lineup for this morning's game (first pitch - 11:05 am ET):
1) Holt, 3B
2) Pedroia, 2B
3) Ortiz, DH
4) Napoli, 1B
5) Gomes, LF
6) Bogaerts, SS
7) Nava, RF
8) Ross, C
9) Bradley Jr., CF
Wei-Yin Chen is 2-1 with his only loss to the Red Sox. He gets the start for the Orioles (8-9). In that loss, he gave up four runs on 12 hits in 5 2/3 innings. He's given up five runs on 14 hits in his 11 1/3 innings since.
Walk-Off City is back
The Red Sox earned their first walk-off win of 2014 with a thrilling come-from-behind 6-5 victory Sunday. The hero was Mike Carp, who pinch-hit for Jonny Gomes with the bases loaded in the ninth inning. Carp lined out to left and Dustin Pedroia hesitated to tag up, but an errant throw allowed Pedroia to score the winning run. Boston had 11 such wins in 2013. The win was also the Red Sox fourth in their last five games, as they have picked up some momentum after losing three straight to fall to 5-9.
Another new leadoff
Brock Holt becomes the fifth different leadoff man in the lineup for the Red Sox through 20 games, meaning the Sox are averaging a new leadoff man every four games. Holt is batting 4-for-10 with a triple, two RBIs and a walk in his three games with the big club this season. Shane Victorino is finishing up his rehab stint with Pawtucket today and tomorrow, so he'll likely be back later this week and secure that spot.
Chris Capuano is becoming one of the best offseason acquisitions, not only for the Red Sox, but for any team in MLB. Capuano is one of two pitchers to have pitched at least 10 innings and not allowed a run. The Springfield, Mass., native went 1 2/3 innings Sunday night to up his total this season to 10 2/3 without allowing a run. The other pitcher is Francisco Rodriguez of the Milwaukee Brewers (10 IP).
Yanks come to town
Up next, the Red Sox welcome the New York Yankees to Fenway Park for the first time this season. The Yankees took three of four in the Bronx last weekend and lead the AL East with an 11-8 record. Boston is tied for third (or last, however you wish to look at it), but only sits two games back of the Yanks.
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