Making their first-ever appearance in Fenway Park, the
Diamondbacks beat Boston 7-5 on Friday night as Miguel Batista
lasted seven innings to snap a personal six-game winless streak. "The fans here were great,'' said first baseman Mark Grace.
"The whole time they were either razzing us or thanking us for
beating the Yankees in the World Series.'' Grace, a first-time visitor to Boston, added his name to the
graffiti inside the Green Monster before the game and doubled to
left-center in his first at-bat. The game matched the top teams in their respective leagues, but
it was just a preview of Saturday's main event, when Pedro Martinez
is scheduled to face Curt Schilling. Martinez will try to snap Boston's three-game home losing streak
and improve a mediocre 15-12 Fenway record that is keeping the Red
Sox -- baseball's best team at 40-18 -- from running away with the AL
East. "We're doing all the right things on the road and it's an
incredible record. But we aren't playing badly at home,''
outfielder Johnny Damon said. "This could be the year players want
to be on the road and forget the home cooking.'' The Red Sox are 25-6 on the road. Batista (3-3) held Boston to one run on three hits through five
innings before giving up three runs in the sixth and one in the
seventh to turn a 7-1 blowout into a 7-5 contest. In all, he
allowed five runs on seven hits, two walks and a wild pitch while
striking out five. Byung-Hyun Kim recorded the final two outs for his 15th save in
17 chances. Frank Castillo (4-6), who had won two consecutive outings,
struggled early in his first career start against the Diamondbacks.
Castillo, who spent seven seasons with the Chicago Cubs, has beaten
every team in the majors except for Arizona and the Seattle
Mariners. Castillo allowed seven runs on eight hits and two walks,
striking out five in three innings. He faced five batters in the
fourth without getting an out before leaving with the bases loaded
and the score 6-1. "I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that we were
familiar with Castillo from the National League,'' Arizona manager
Bob Brenly said. "Our guys jumped right on him.'' Steve Finley, who was 3-for-4, hit a two-run single in the
second and Luis Gonzalez made it 4-0 with a two-run homer in the
third. Boston made it 4-1 on Jose Offerman's RBI groundout before
Arizona broke the game open in the fourth. Jose Guillen led off with a single, then Castillo walked Grace
and Finley to load the bases. Rod Barajas singled in one run and
Tony Womack singled in another to chase Castillo. Darren Oliver came on in relief and got Craig Counsell to foul
out to the third baseman and Junior Spivey to pop up to second.
Gonzalez walked to make it 7-1 before Erubiel Durazo lined out to
the shortstop to end the inning. Tony Clark had an RBI single before Trot Nixon tripled in two
runs to make it 7-4 in the sixth. Damon homered in the seventh to
cut Arizona's lead to 7-5. Arizona, which leads the NL with a 37-23 record, was 2-4 in
Batista's previous six starts. He was 0-2 with four no-decisions
since his last win, on May 2.
Red Sox OF Manny Ramirez, who's been on the disabled list
for a month with a broken finger, did not return to Boston for an
examination on Friday because he missed his flight from Florida.
"I heard the weather was kind of messed up. Probably he was kind
of messed up, too,'' manager Grady Little joked before the game.
Ramirez, who was hurt on May 5, is not expected to be activated for
several weeks. ... Arizona won the World Series in its fourth
season, but Boston won it in its third. It was in 1903, and the
team was known as the Pilgrims. ... The Red Sox sold 21,000 tickets
at $10 each for fans to play catch on the Fenway Park field on
Father's Day. The event sold out in a day and a half. ... Although
Arizona has never visited Fenway Park before, 15 Diamondbacks have.
Schilling, who was originally drafted by the Red Sox before playing
with Baltimore and Philadelphia, has pitched here in five games,
with an 0-2 record and 7.50 ERA. Arizona tied a season-high with 15