The Sox continued their opening series on a sunny Tuesday afternoon with new acquisition Matt Clement facing Connecticut Yankee in King George's court. Pavano looked quite human, but outdueled Clement, who was also the victim of an Edgar Renteria fielding miscue.
David Ortiz delivered a long home run over the centerfield fence for his first tater of the season.
The offense failed to deliver the key hit until Captain Jason Varitek went yard into the second row of the bleachers against Mariano Rivera with one out in the top of the ninth. Rivera, once a perennial mystery to the Sox, appeared at least mortal trying to tie down the save for Pavano. Rivera bounced back to fan Mark Bellhorn, seeking to eclipse last year's Sox strikeout record (177) as he whiffed for the fifth time this season, before Johnny Damon showed warning track power for the third out.
Close up shots of Rivera after the pitch showed expletives not deleted. The FCC will probably on the case momentarily. Bronx Bomber owner George Steinbrenner looked as though he were previewing the remake of The Exorcist.
According to ESPN , two-thirds of Americans surveyed favor banning players from the Hall of Fame who have used steroids. A third said the biggest problem facing baseball was high salaries. Evidently, they didn't poll Sox fans after Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter delivered an opposite field homer to win the game 4-3. Prior to Jeter's blast, the Sox had rung up 3 2/3rds scoreless innings against New York.
Today's 'you don't see that very often' event was Jeter's walkoff homer, following a game-tying round-tripper by Varitek in the ninth.
The Sox will attempt to salvage their dignity and the final game of the series Wednesday with Tim Wakefield opposing Mike Mussina.