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Just Call Them the Red Socks

Boston scores 14 runs in first inning, a record 10 before first out, in 25-8 victory dampened by injury to Marlin pitcher.

June 28, 2003|From Associated Press

BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox were enjoying a record-breaking performance when a hush fell over Fenway Park.

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 Marlin 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 Dr. Richard Wolfe said 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 Marlin 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, 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."

Red Sox third-base coach Mike Cubbage insisted they were not trying to run up the score. "The way we were batting, we just kept running around the bases," he said.

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 both runs and hits 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, by the Philadelphia Phillies on Aug. 13, 1948, against the New York Giants.

The Red Sox equaled the American League 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. He was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, a few blocks from the ballpark, and was to be kept overnight 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 that inning and to Kevin Millar in the fifth. Damon led off the seventh with a single. Walker then lined the ball off Olsen; it went 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.

*

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

A Breakout Inning

The Boston Red Sox set a major league record Friday by scoring 10 runs before an out was made in the first inning of their 25-8 victory over Florida. The Red Sox scored 14 runs in the inning.

Here's how the bottom of the first inning went (Florida scored once in the top of the first).

* Johnny Damon doubled.

* Todd Walker singled, scoring Damon (score tied, 1-1).

* Nomar Garciaparra doubled, Walker to third.

* Manny Ramirez hit a three-run home run to left field (4-1, Boston)

* David Ortiz doubled.

* Kevin Millar singled, scoring Ortiz (5-1).

PITCHING CHANGE:

Michael Tejera replaced starter Carl Pavano.

* Trot Nixon singled, Millar to second.

* Bill Mueller walked, loading the bases.

* Jason Varitek singled, scoring Millar and Nixon (7-1)

* Damon tripled, scoring Mueller and Varitek (9-1)

* Walker singled, scoring Damon (10-1)

PITCHING CHANGE:

Allen Levrault replaced Tejera.

* Garciaparra fouled out to the catcher for the first out of the inning.

* Ramirez singled, Walker to third.

* Ortiz walked, Ramirez to second.

* Millar flied out to center field, scoring Walker (11-1).

* Nixon walked, loading the bases.

* Mueller doubled, scoring Ramirez and Ortiz (13-1).

* Varitek walked.

* Damon singled, scoring Nixon. Mueller thrown out at the plate to end the inning.

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