The Red Sox’s first home game at Fenway Park after last year’s Boston Marathon bombing was an iconic moment in the team’s 2013 World Series run.
Outfielder Jonny Gomes still has a hard time putting into words exactly what happened that day.
Daniel Nava smacked a three-run homer in the eighth inning of the Red Sox’s game against the Kansas City Royals on April 20, 2013 — five days after the horrific attack and one day after the lengthy manhunt ended in Watertown, Mass. Gomes was standing on third base when Nava went deep, and he remembers there being something very unique about that particular game.
“The things that happened in that game,” Gomes recently recounted, according to ESPN.com’s Gordon Edes. “I’m not trying to get all spiritual on you, but if you’re not a believer, that game made you a believer.”
One moment that stood out to Gomes was when Royals catcher Salvador Perez — batting with Jeff Francouer on first base and Boston clinging to a 4-3 lead in the ninth inning — smoked a ball down the right field line. It looked like Kansas City was going to grab a 5-4 lead against then-Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey, but fate suddenly seemed to intervene.
“What stands out in my mind is that some weird stuff went our way that game,” Gomes said. “Their catcher hit one right down the line, just torched it. That ball’s gone. Then that thing took a right hand turn and woof, foul.”
Bailey and the Red Sox ended up nailing down a 4-3 win on a day Boston won’t soon forget.