Kevin Youkilis, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford all returned to Fenway Monday night, but perhaps the most welcome return was a display of Adrian Gonzalez's power.
Outshining the ovations given to Youkilis, who belted out three hits in his first game in Boston since being dealt away three weeks ago, Gonzalez launched a three-run homer into the Monster Seats in the bottom of the eighth, snapping a 1-1 tie and sending the Red Sox to a 5-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox.
It was Gonzalez's first homer of any sort since June 24 and just his second three-run homer of the season.
Gonzalez drove in four runs for the night, having singled home Crawford with a single to right back in the first. The four RBI represented a season high for the first baseman.
Mike Aviles drove in the other Red Sox run with a bloop single later in the eighth. All four of the runs in the eighth came off lefty reliever Leyson Septimo.
Aaron Cook got a no-decision, but pitched brilliantly, limiting the White Sox to a single run over seven innings. Sixteen of the 21 outs he recorded came on the ground and he didn't issue a walk.
Vicente Padilla got the win, while Alfredo Aceves earned the save as the Sox won for the third time in four tries in the second half.
Former major leaguer Andy Marte, a one-time top prospect in the Red Sox organization, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 33.
Marte was killed the same day that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Ventura was 25. Coincidentally, Ventura was the Royals starting pitcher in Marte's final major league game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.
Marte, drafted by the Braves in 2000, was ranked the No. 9 prospect in baseball in 2005 when the third baseman was traded to the Red Sox as part of the deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta and Marte became the top-ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization.
Marte was traded by the Red Sox to the Indians in 2006 in the deal that sent Coco Crisp to Boston and spent five seasons with Cleveland. His best season was 2009 (.232, six home runs, 25 RBI in 47 games). After a six-game stint with Arizona in 2014, he played in South Korea the past two years.
Metropolitan traffic authorities in the Dominican told the Associated Press that Marte died when a car he was driving his a house along the highway between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.
Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports. Ventura was 25 years old.
Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo told the Associated Press that Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it's not clear if Ventura was driving.
Ventura was killed the same day former major leaguer Andy Marte died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Coincidentally, Ventura was the starting pitcher in Marte's final MLB game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.
Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners.
Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014.
Ventura is the second current major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.