Red Sox win in first home game since Boston Marathon bombings

Singer Neil Diamond sings "Sweet Caroline" during the eighth inning of MLB American League baseball action between the Boston Red Sox and the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts Credit: Reuters
Singer Neil Diamond sings “Sweet Caroline” during the eighth inning of MLB American League baseball action between the Boston Red Sox and the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts
Credit: Reuters

Red Sox 4, Royals 3: Daniel Nava belted a go-ahead, three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to cap an emotional day at Fenway Park and lift host Boston to its seventh straight victory.

Nava’s two-out shot off Kelvin Herrera (1-2) punctuated the Red Sox’s first home game since Monday and came less than 24 hours after the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings was apprehended, ending a massive manhunt that had the city on lockdown.

Clay Buchholz (4-0) allowed two runs and eight hits in eight innings before Andrew Bailey escaped his own jam in the ninth to secure his third save. The dramatic victory came on the heels of a stirring pregame ceremony in which the team honored the victims of the bombing and paid tribute to law enforcement officials, first responders, volunteers and marathon competitors.

Lorenzo Cain went 4-for-4 with a home run, two doubles and scored all three runs for Kansas City, which wasted a strong start by James Shields. The right-hander yielded only one runs on four hits and struck out eight in six innings.

Salvador Perez tripled home Cain – who has 11 hits in his last 16 at-bats – with two outs in the seventh, but Boston rallied in the eighth with a pinch-hit leadoff double by Jonny Gomes and a walk to Mike Napoli before Nava launched a blast into the bullpen in right.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Red Sox DH David Ortiz (Achilles) went 2-for-4 with an RBI single in his season debut and drew thunderous applause when he told the Fenway Park faithful: “This is our (expletive) city! Ain’t nobody going to dictate our freedom!” … In addition to his RBI triple, Royals C Perez threw out Nava on a pickoff at second base with two on and no out in the seventh to quell a huge scoring threat. … The teams will play a split-doubleheader Sunday to make up Friday’s postponed series opener. The first game will start at 1:35 p.m. with the nightcap scheduled for 7 p.m. … Singer Neil Diamond appeared at Fenway for a live version of his hit “Sweet Caroline,” the anthem adopted by Boston fans during the eighth inning.


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