Baseball returned to Fenway Park yesterday as the Boston Red Sox came from behind to defeat the Detroit Tigers, 3-1.
With scattered showers overhead and the usual number of spectator scuffles all around, a home-opener crowd of more than 33,000 watched Detroit take a 1-0 lead when Richie Hebner singled home Lou Whitaker in the top half of the first inning. Jason Thompson and Champ Summers then reached Boston starter Dennis Eckersley for walks to load the bases, but the righthander forced Lance Parrish to ground to second baseman Jerry Remy to extinguish the threat.
While Eckersley settled down and hurled near-hitless ball Tiger twirler Jack Morris held the Bosox in check until the sixth, yielding a lone fourth-inning tally on a Carl Yastrzemski sacrifice fly and nary else.
But the steady drizzle awakened the slumbering Red Sox bats. Remy lashed a long triple down the right field line to lead off the bottom of the sixth and came around to score the eventual gamewinner when Rick Burleson grounded to second.
The afternoon's biggest cheer came moments later, when Fred Lynn launched his first home run of the year over the centerfield wall, giving Boston a 3-1 lead and Fenway fans their first (of many, to be sure) roundtripper of the short campaign.
A 56-minute rain delay halted proceedings after seven frames, and when play resumed Tom Burgmeier had replaced Eckersley. The southpaw held the Bengals scoreless the rest of the way and recorded the save.
For most fans, the best part of the proceedings was the return of the things they'd missed all winter: Carlton Fisk's throws from behind the plate had good velocity, Dwight Evans and Remy each made two sparkling plays in the field and defending batting champion Lynn picked up where he left off last year, adding a single to his homer.
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