BOSTON -- Friday was the 100th anniversary of the first game at Fenway Park, and the Red Sox went overboard in marking the occasion. They dressed the team in 1912 throwback uniforms, with no numbers on the backs. They brought back 209 former players, managers and coaches, culled from seven decades, to help celebrate.
Too bad they forget about the deadened balls from 1912. Clay Buchholz could have used them.
Stuck instead with the lively baseballs of the modern era, Buchholz became the second Red Sox pitcher in less than two weeks to surrender five home runs in a game. (Josh Beckett had achieved what was thought to be a once-in-a-season feat in the second game of the year in Detroit.) The homers took the air out of the party, as the Yankees cruised to a 6-2 victory that dropped the modern Sox' record to a depressing 4-9.
The first New York run came not via the long ball, but via a gift. Dustin Pedroia dropped leadoff hitter Derek Jeter's windblown pop up into short right field, allowing the Yankee shortstop to reach first. He went to second on a wild pitch and rode home on a single by Alex Rodriguez.
Then came the barrage.
Homers from Nick Swisher and Eric Chavez in the second, to up the lead to 3-0.
A homer from Chavez in the fourth that made it 4-1.
A homer from Rodriguez in the fifth that made it 5-1.
A homer from Russell Martin in the sixth that made it 6-2.
Luckily for Buchholz and the Sox, they were all solo blasts. But it didn't matter much, as the Yankee pitching tandem of Ivan Nova, Cory Wade, David Robertson, Cody Eppley and Mariano Rivera -- despite scattering 10 hits -- allowed only two Boston runs.
The Sox got their first run from a home run of their own, by David Ortiz leading off the second. The other came on doubles by Cody Ross and Mike Aviles in the fifth.
Star of the Game: Eric Chavez
Back-to-back home runs to center field, in the second and fourth innings, highlighted the Yanks' power barrage.
Honorable Mention: David Ortiz
The one bright spot in this so-far dismal Red Sox season, and a pleasant change from his slow starts of the last several years. His 2-for-4 performance lifted his average to .392, and he now has 2 homers and 10 RBI . . . putting him on pace for 27 HRs and 135 RBI in 2012.
Today's Goat: Clay Buchholz
Do you really need to ask why?
The Red Sox had their chances to get back in the game, and their best shots came in back-to-back innings. In the second, after Ortiz' homer cut the Yankee lead to 3-1, Kevin Youkilis doubled to right. He got to third on an infield grounder by Jarrod Saltalamacchia, but died there as Ross struck out and Jason Repko grounded out. Then, in the third with the score still 3-1, they got a one-out double from Ryan Sweeney. He didn't score, either; Pedroia flied out and Adrian Gonzalez struck out. It was, as the late, great Ned Martin would say, mostly silent movies after that.
Stat of the Day: 11-29
From the great Ken Tremendous: The Sox have lost 29 of their last 40 games dating back to last September. That's a 45-117 pace over 162 games.
Quote of the Day
"We want Tito! We want Tito!" -- the Fenway center-field denizens in the ninth inning.