Terry Francona returned to Fenway Park as a visitor for the first time on Thursday, receiving a standing ovation.
It was a great gesture by the Boston Red Sox fans as they made their former manager emotional. Making the visit even more special was that the Cleveland Indians rolled past the Red Sox 12-3.
“I tried to keep my emotions inside,” said Francona, who led Boston to two World Series championships in eight years and a record of 744-552 in that span went on to say “I didn’t want to be the main focus. You want to let the players play.”
Francona parted ways with the Red Sox after the 2011 season and went into broadcasting for 2012. He returned to manage again this season with Cleveland. Currently, the Indians are off to a 27-19 record, which is good for first in the AL Central.
During the game each player in the starting lineup got a least one hit and six drove in a run though there was not a home run hit. David Ortiz did hit his eighth home run of the season for the Red Sox. What helped Cleveland to score 12 runs was hitting with runners in scoring position. As a whole they went 8-19 in those situations.
Mark Reynolds picked up his 40th rbi and went 3-4, Drew Stubs added three hits including a triple and a double, and Michael Bourn went 3-6 with two rbi. Zach McAllister pitched five solid innings and his only blemish was the three-run home run by Ortiz, he also struck out four.
Red Sox starter Ryan Dempster struggled with his command as he walked four, he also gave up five hits and four runs in three innings of work. Clayton Mortensen came on in relief and in two innings gave up five hits, five runs and three walks.
“He’s one of the best managers to ever manage here,” Boston catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said. “I wasn’t surprised by the (fans’) reaction. It is all earned and deserved.”
Both quotes via ESPN.com
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