Red Sox score 14 runs in first inning; wallop Marlins
Johnny Damon had three hits and three runs batted in during a record-setting 14-run first inning, as the Boston Red Sox crushed the Florida Marlins, 25-8, in the opener of a three-game interleague set at Fenway Park.
Damon tied the modern-day record for hits in an inning with three, also done by Boston's Gene Stephens in 1953.
Damon finished 5-for-7 in the contest and Manny Ramirez hit a three-run homer in the first for the Red Sox, who set a major-league record by scoring 10 runs without recording an out in the first inning. The Philadelphia Phillies held the previous record of nine, doing it on August 13, 1948 against the New York Giants.
The first 11 batters reached base for Boston, which won its fifth straight game and tied the American League record for most runs scored in the first inning.
Bill Mueller ended 4-for-5 with a home run and a career-high six runs batted in for Boston, which also tied a franchise-record with 28 hits.
The first seven Red Sox that came to the plate picked up a base hit. Damon doubled and scored when Todd Walker followed with a single. Nomar Garciaparra doubled and Ramirez belted a three-run homer to left, making it a 4-1 game.
David Ortiz also doubled and scored when Kevin Millar singled up the middle, ending Florida starting pitcher Carl Pavano's night. Michael Tejera did not fare any better, yielding a Trot Nixon single and a walk to Mueller to load the bases. Jason Varitek then singled in two and Damon tripled in two more before scoring on a base hit by Walker to send Tejera to the dugout still with none out.
Allen Levrault took his turn and finally registered an out, forcing Garciaparra to foul out on the 59th pitch of the inning with 10 runs already on the board. Ramirez then singled, Ortiz walked and Millar lifted a sacrifice fly to centre, making it 11-1. Nixon walked, Mueller doubled in a pair of runs and Varitek walked to bring Damon to the plate for the third time in the frame.
Damon singled into left, scoring Nixon, but Mueller was thrown out at the plate to mercifully end the inning for the Marlins with the score at 14-1.
Pavano (6-9) gave up six hits and six runs before heading for an early shower. Tejera gave up five runs, four hits and a walk before giving way to Levrault, who finished off the seemingly never-ending frame for Florida, which lost for just the second time in eight games.
Ortiz belted a two-run homer in the second and Mueller added a solo shot in the third to extend the lead to 17-1. The Red Sox then stroked four straight two-out hits in the fourth to bring home two more runs.
Florida scored four times in the fifth to reduce the deficit to 19-5. Mike Redmond and Derrek Lee each knocked run-scoring singles and Juan Encarnacion brought home a pair of runs with a double.
Lee also homered in the ninth and finished with two hits and three RBI in the loss.
A double by Doug Mirabelli and a single by Ortiz brought home the 20th run of the contest for Boston in the home fifth.
Byung-Hyun Kim was the beneficiary of the offensive onslaught, picking up the win despite allowing five runs -- four earned -- and seven hits in five innings of work. Kim (2-1) won for just the second time in seven starts since joining the Red Sox.
In the seventh inning, the laugher of a game quickly became secondary to the health of Marlins relief pitcher Kevin Olsen. Walker's line drive struck Olsen in the side of the head. The crowd immediately went silent and Florida's training staff rushed to his side.
Olsen was conscious when he was taken from the field on a stretcher and to Beth Israel Deaconesse Medical Center for further examination. He is listed in good condition and his injuries are not considered serious.
The incident resembled a September 8, 2000 play where former Boston pitcher Bryce Florie was also hit by a line drive during a game at Fenway Park.
The Marlins actually held a lead in this game, 1-0 after Juan Pierre led off the contest with a bunt single, advanced to second on a groundout and scored on Ivan Rodriguez's single into center field.