Weiland learns the hard way in MLB debut

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Weiland learns the hard way in MLB debut

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com Follow @JCameratoNBA
BOSTON -- Kyle Weiland sat in silence at his locker on Sunday morning with his headphones on. The music coming through the speakers drowned out any noise going on around him in the Red Sox clubhouse.

The quiet was temporary, though. It wouldnt be long before he was surrounded by a stadium packed with over 37,000 fans, cheering and reacting to every pitch he threw in his Major League debut at Fenway Park.

The outing didnt go exactly as planned.

Weiland, 24, was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket to fill-in in an injury-stricken starting rotation. (He was 8-6 with a 3.00 ERA for the PawSox this season.) Red Sox manager Terry Francona said before the game that he looked excited and confident -- and it showed in his 1-2-3 first inning.

But the Orioles bats would not be so quiet in the second. They scored six runs off seven hits, including a home run by Derrek Lee. The Red Sox two-run lead quickly became a four-run deficit. Francona kept Weiland in the game, however, as the Red Sox fought back to tie the game at six apiece by the end of the second inning.

Second inning was a difficult inning, said Francona following the Red Sox 8-6 win. A couple of bleeders, a couple of balls hit really hard, a lot of hits and a lot of runs. Saying that, he stayed composed and gave us some more. At a point, you cant go too far. Alfredo Aceves (who began warming up in the bullpen) is pitching as much as he is down in the bullpen.

"Stuff was good, just didnt locate a couple and really paid for it. Hes probably not used to paying for it that much . . . in the minor leagues, maybe you get away with some of those. You throw it to Derrek Lee over the heart of the plate and it goes a long way.

While the runs stopped coming from the Orioles, Weiland faced a new set of difficulties. He hit Mark Reynolds with a pitch in the third inning, and after Jeremy Guthrie hit Kevin Youkilis in the fourth, both teams were warned. Weiland missed on a pitch to Vladimir Guerrero the following inning and hit him on the hand, leading to an automatic ejection of both him and Francona.

Not really the way Weiland pictured leaving the mound in his debut (13.50 ERA, 4.0 IP, 8H, 6ER, 2BB, 2K).

Its not exactly what you have written out and planned for, but it is what it is and it was a great experience, he said. I got the first one under my belt. Obviously I would have liked a few things to go different, got a little ahead of myself, things kind of snowballed on me in the second inning. But obviously having this Red Sox lineup supporting me is a luxury, so it got us right back into the game. After that I felt like I started to calm down and control the adrenaline a little bit more.

Aceves entered the game in place of Weiland, whom Francona said would not have continued to pitch much longer even if he had not been ejected, and helped keep the game under control for the Red Sox in their victory.

The debut -- ejection and all -- was a learning experience for Weiland. Later in the game Orioles reliever Michael Gonzalez and manager Buck Showalter were also thrown out as a result of the warning issued earlier in the game. It capped off a heated series between the two games that included a brawl on Friday night.

Obviously everything up here at this point is all new to me, Weiland said. So when the ejection happened I was like, well, thats the rules I guess. I didnt think the warnings were really warranted. Youkilis got hit on a changeup, so that was a little confusing that we got warned, but if thats the way the rules go, I know with the past few games you cant really do much about it and had to take a walk.

With his big-league debut in the books, Weiland can look back on it and grow. The Red Sox can also looked toward him in the future.

I thought he threw the ball much better than his results, said Jason Varitek, who caught Weiland. He learned a lot, hes come a long way from the last time I got to see him.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.com!JCameratoNBA

Ramirez, Leon homer, Red Sox beat Angels 9-4 on Papi's night

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Ramirez, Leon homer, Red Sox beat Angels 9-4 on Papi's night

BOSTON - David Ortiz became one of the most celebrated players in Red Sox history during his storied 14-year run in Boston.

On the night he returned to Fenway to have his No. 34 take its place among the franchise's other legends, his former teammates did their part to make sure it was a memorable one.

Hanley Ramirez and Sandy Leon hit two-run homers and the Boston Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Angels 9-4 on Friday to cap a night in which Ortiz's number became the latest retired at Fenway Park.

It was the 250th career home run for Ramirez, a good friend of Ortiz who was also born in the Dominican Republic. Leon finished with three hits and four RBIs.

Ramirez said he played with Ortiz on his mind.

"He's my mentor, my big brother. He's everything," Ramirez said. "Today when I saw him on the field crying, it made me cry."

He said his home run was in Big Papi's honor.

"Definitely, definitely, definitely," he said. "I was going to do his thing (pointing his hands in the air) but I forgot."

The homers helped provide a nice cushion for Rick Porcello (4-9), who gave up four runs and struck out eight in 6 1/3 innings to earn the victory. It was the 13th straight start Porcello has gone at least six innings.

"It was vintage Porcello," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "A couple of pitches that cut his night short, but he was crisp throughout."

This could serve as a needed confidence boost for Porcello, who had been 0-4 with a 7.92 ERA in his previous five starts, allowing 47 hits and 27 earned runs.

He had command of his pitches early, holding the Angels scoreless until the fourth, when a catching error by Leon at home allowed Albert Pujols to cross the plate.

Porcello said he isn't sure if he has completely turned a corner yet after his slow start, but he has felt better in his recent starts.

"Today was a step in the right direction," he said.

Alex Meyer (3-4) allowed five runs and five hits in 3 1/3 innings.

Los Angeles scored three runs in the seventh, but cooled off after Porcello left.

Boston got out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, scoring on an RBI double by Xander Bogaerts and then getting two more runs off wild pitches by Meyer.

Ramirez gave Porcello a 5-1 lead in the fourth with his two-run shot to right field.

Ortiz: 'A super honor' to have number retired by Red Sox

Ortiz: 'A super honor' to have number retired by Red Sox

BOSTON —  The Red Sox have become well known for their ceremonies, for their pull-out-all-the-stops approach to pomp. The retirement of David Ortiz’s No. 34 on Friday evening was in one way, then, typical.

A red banner covered up Ortiz’s No. 34 in right field, on the facade of the grandstand, until it was dropped down as Ortiz, his family, Red Sox ownership and others who have been immortalized in Fenway lore looked on. Carl Yazstremski and Jim Rice, Wade Boggs and Pedro Martinez. 

The half-hour long tribute further guaranteed permanence to a baseball icon whose permanence in the city and the sport was never in doubt. But the moments that made Friday actually feel special, rather than expected, were stripped down and quick. 

Dustin Pedroia’s not one to belabor many points, never been the most effusive guy around. (He’d probably do well on a newspaper deadline.) The second baseman spoke right before Ortiz took to the podium behind the mound.

“We want to thank you for not the clutch hits, the 500 home runs, we want to thank you for how you made us feel and it’s love,” Pedroia said, with No. 34 painted into both on-deck circles and cut into the grass in center field. “And you’re not our teammate, you’re not our friend, you’re our family. … Thank you, we love you.”

Those words were enough for Ortiz to have tears in his eyes.

“Little guy made me cry,” Ortiz said, wiping his hands across his face. “I feel so grateful. I thank God every day for giving me the opportunity to have the career that I have. But I thank God even more for giving me the family and what I came from, who teach me how to try to do everything the right way. Nothing — not money — nothing is better than socializing with the people that are around you, get familiar with, show them love, every single day. It’s honor to get to see my number …. I remember hitting batting practice on this field, I always was trying to hit those numbers.”

Now that’s a poignant image for a left-handed slugger at Fenway Park.

He did it once, he said — hit the numbers. He wasn’t sure when. Somewhere in 2011-13, he estimated — but he said he hit Bobby Doerr’s No. 1.

“It was a good day to hit during batting practice,” Ortiz remembered afterward in a press conference. “But to be honest with you, I never thought I’d have a chance to hit the ball out there. It’s pretty far. My comment based on those numbers was, like, I started just getting behind the history of this organization. Those guys, those numbers have a lot of good baseball in them. It takes special people to do special things and at the end of the day have their number retired up there, so that happening to me today, it’s a super honor to be up there, hanging with those guys.”

The day was all about his number, ultimately, and his number took inspiration from the late Kirby Puckett. Ortiz’s major league career began with the Twins in 1997. Puckett passed away in 2006, but the Red Sox brought his children to Fenway Park. They did not speak at the podium or throw a ceremonial first pitch, but their presence likely meant more than, say, Jason Varitek’s or Tim Wakefield’s.

“Oh man, that was very emotional,” Ortiz said. “I’m not going to lie to you, like, when I saw them coming toward me, I thought about Kirby. A lot. That was my man, you know. It was super nice to see his kids. Because I remember, when they were little guys, little kids. Once I got to join the Minnesota Twins, Kirby was already working in the front office. So they were, they used to come in and out. I used to get to see them. But their dad was a very special person for me and that’s why you saw me carry the No. 34 when I got here. It was very special to get to see them, to get kind of connected with Kirby somehow someway.”

Ortiz’s place in the row of 11 retired numbers comes in between Boggs’ No. 26 and Jackie Robinson’s No. 42.