Final, Brewers 6-2: The Red Sox’s bullpen had gone 9 2/3 innings without allowing a run to begin the 2014 season. Edward Mujica got roughed up in the ninth inning, though, and Boston dropped its home opener 6-2.
Mujica, who entered with the game tied 2-2, gave up four runs on four hits in the ninth inning. It was an ugly way to mark his first Fenway Park appearance in a Red Sox uniform.
Will Middlebrooks went deep for the Red Sox, who managed just five hits one day after pounding 14. Jake Peavy was the hard-luck loser, surrendering two runs on six hits over six innings.
Obviously, the Red Sox aren’t thrilled with the result of Friday’s home opener, but it definitely was a special day at Fenway Park. Opening Day always is a big occasion in Boston, but a ring ceremony adds a little something.
Mid 9th, Brewers 6-2: Edward Mujica’s first appearance at Fenway Park in a Red Sox uniform was, well, a disaster.
Khris Davis got things going for Milwaukee with a leadoff double into the left field corner. He took third base when Scooter Gennett dropped down a sacrifice bunt.
Mujica tried to throw out Davis at third base on Gennett’s bunt. The decision backfired, though, as Davis slid in safely just ahead of Will Middlebrooks’ tag.
Lyle Overbay stepped up with runners at the corners and gave the Brewers a 4-2 lead with a two-run double down the right field line.
Carlos Gomez and Aramis Ramirez added to Milwaukee’s lead with a pair of two-run singles.
Mujia was replaced by Andrew Miller with two outs in the ninth inning. Miller walked two batters before escaping the inning.
End 8th, 2-2: The Red Sox couldn’t do anything with David Ortiz’s one-out single.
Ortiz hit a sharp ground ball into right-center field. Scooter Gennett ranged deep onto the grass to make a backhanded play and even attempted an ill-advised throw. Ortiz had no problem reaching.
Mike Napoli crushed any potential threat by grounding into a 5-4-3, inning-ending double play.
Edward Mujica will pitch the ninth inning with the score tied 2-2.
Mid 8th, 2-2: Burke Badenhop benefited from a big double play in the eighth inning.
Dustin Pedroia made an excellent diving stop and nearly took a hit away from Aramis Ramirez. Ramirez was able to reach to lead off the eighth inning, though.
The momentum swung in Boston’s favor when Jonathan Lucroy grounded to first base. Mike Napoli fielded it and tossed to second base to get the lead runner. Xander Bogaerts quickly fired back to Badenhop, who was covering first, for the second half of the twin killing.
Badenhop exited the inning by getting Logan Schafer to fly out to center field.
End 7th, 2-2: The Brewers walked Will Middlebrooks to take their chances with Daniel Nava — in other words, they walked the No. 9 hitter to face the leadoff hitter. It worked out for Milwaukee.
Grady Sizemore led off with a walk and advanced to second base on a wild pitch. The Brew Crew then decided to walk Middlebrooks with first base open and two outs.
Nava played into the Brewers’ strategy by grounding to short.
Mid 7th, 2-2: A bang-bang play ended the top of the seventh.
Carlos Gomez reached with a one-out infield single. Will Middlebrooks charged Gomez’s swinging bunt and tossed to first, but the third baseman couldn’t get enough behind his throw.
Ryan Braun hit slow roller with two outs that shortstop Xander Bogaerts charged. There was a brief moment of hesitation on the difficult play, but Bogaerts delivered a strong enough throw to get Braun at first base.
End 6th, 2-2: John Farrell called Jonny Gomes’ number in the sixth inning. Gomes struck out looking to end the inning.
The Red Sox stranded the potential go-ahead run at third base in the sixth. Mike Napoli walked with two outs and advanced two bases on a wild pitch and a passed ball.
Farrell called upon Gomes to pinch hit for Mike Carp with lefty Will Smith on the mound, but the slugger struck out on a pitch that looked low. Gomes seemed upset — perhaps at himself — after taking Smith’s 3-2 offering.
Mid 6th, 2-2: Jake Peavy was fired up after pitching his way out of the sixth inning.
The Red Sox had double-barreled action — Andrew Miller and Burke Badenhop — warming up in the sixth inning, but Peavy escaped a first-and-second, no-out jam.
Xander Bogaerts, whose defense has been sturdy so far this season, opened the sixth inning with an error. He simply didn’t catch Aramis Ramirez’s line drive.
Peavy followed Bogaerts’ error with a free pass to Jonathan Lucroy, who has had a great game for Milwaukee. The threat ended there.
Peavy retired Logan Schafer, Khris Davis and Scooter Gennett. Gennett hit a ground ball back to the mound that Peavy fielded and tossed to first before pumping his fist in Mike Napoli’s direction.
End 5th, 2-2: Marco Estrada picked up a pair of strikeouts while working a scoreless fifth inning.
A.J. Pierzynski and Daniel Nava went down hacking in the fifth. Their two K’s sandwiched Will Middlebrooks’ flyout to center field.
Mid 5th, 2-2: Jake Peavy worked around a one-out single in the fifth.
Carlos Gomez, who ended the fourth inning with an excellent running grab in the left-center field gap, singled with one down.
Peavy otherwise took care of business, handling Jean Segura and Ryan Braun to avoid any scoreboard damage.
Again, the boo birds showed up for Braun’s at-bat.
End 4th, 2-2: If someone other than Carlos Gomez was playing center field for the Brewers, Xander Bogaerts probably would have given the Red Sox a lead in the fourth inning.
Mike Carp tried to spark a two-out rally with a sinking line drive into right field. Logan Schafer, who has had an eventful day, came up empty handed on a diving attempt, and Carp hustled into second base with a two-out double.
Grady Sizemore nearly hooked one around Pesky’s Pole. Instead, he drew a nine-pitch walk to set up runners at first and second for Bogaerts.
Bogaerts smoked a line drive toward the left-center field gap, but Gomez — again, an excellent defender — got a great jump and flagged it down on the warning track.
Mid 4th, 2-2: The Brewers have squared up some balls against Jake Peavy. To this point, the right-hander has survived.
Jonathan Lucroy, who homered in the second inning, planted a leadoff double off the left field wall in the fourth inning.
Peavy responded by retiring Logan Schafer, Khris Davis and Scooter Gennett in order, although Davis struck one pretty well to left field.
End 3rd, 2-2: Will Middlebrooks broke through for two hits Thursday after starting the year 0-for-8. The third baseman launched his first home run of the season in the third inning of Friday’s game.
Middlebrooks jumped on the first pitch he saw from Marco Estrada in the third inning and sent it into the Monster seats for a one-out, game-tying blast.
Estrada, who struck out A.J. Pierzynski to begin the inning, took care of Daniel Nava and Dustin Pedroia after Middlebrooks’ bomb, but we’re all tied up in Boston.
Mid 3rd, Brewers 2-1: Jake Peavy rebounded nicely in the third inning after a shaky second.
Milwaukee’s No. 2, 3 and 4 hitters failed to carry the club’s offensive momentum into the third inning. Jean Segura, Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez went down in order.
Again, Braun was loudly booed.
End 2nd, Brewers 2-1: The Red Sox answered right back with a run of their own in the second inning.
Mike Napoli led off with a walk, and Grady Sizemore roped a single into right field with one out. Right fielder Logan Schafer came up firing in an attempt to cut down Napoli at third base, but the throw was horrendous. It allowed Napoli to score while Sizemore scooted up to second base.
Sizemore then stole third base, putting him in a position to score on a sacrifice fly. Xander Bogaerts’ fly ball to right field wasn’t quite deep enough, though, and Schafer atoned for his earlier mistake by chucking a missile to the plate to nail Sizemore.
Mid 2nd, Brewers 2-0: Jake Peavy ran into some trouble in the second inning.
Jonathan Lucroy quieted the Fenway Park crowd with a solo blast over the Green Monster that gave the Brewers a 1-0 edge.
Khris Davis followed with a double and Lyle Overbay walked to set the table for Carlos Gomez. Gomez knocked in Milwaukee’s second run.
The Brewers could have struck for more — they had runners at the corners with two outs — but catcher A.J. Pierzynski gunned down Gomez on an attempted steal to end the inning.
End 1st, 0-0: Daniel Nava, Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz went down in order against Marco Estrada in the first inning.
Pedroia actually gave one a pretty good ride, but center fielder Carlos Gomez — an excellent defensive player — tracked it down on the edge of the warning track.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Jake Peavy’s two-seamer was filthy in the first inning.
Jean Segura tripled down the left field line, but Peavy struck out the other three hitters he faced. Carlos Gomez, Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez all went down swinging.
Braun, as you might have guessed, was mercilessly booed once again upon stepping up for his first at-bat.
2:12 p.m.: The first pitch at Fenway Park in 2014 has been delivered. The season now officially is in full swing.
2:08 p.m.: Now, we’re just about ready for baseball.
2:03 p.m.: Pedro Martinez, Jason Varitek, Mike Lowell, Tedy Bruschi, Ty Law, Troy Brown, Mark Recchi and Leon Powe came out for the ceremonial first pitch.
The first pitches were delivered by former Boston mayor Thomas Menino and current Boston mayor Marty Walsh.
1:57 p.m.: The Dropkick Murphys performed the national anthem.
There then was an awesome helicopter flyover. Then again, when are flyovers not awesome?
1:52 p.m.: Grady Sizemore received a nice ovation upon being introduced for the first time.
1:45 p.m.: Ryan Braun probably hoped to fly under the radar with all that’s going on at Fenway Park. He didn’t.
Braun was emphatically booed upon being introduced.
Now, the Red Sox are being introduced.
1:39 p.m.: The 2013 World Series flag has been raised in center field.
1:36 p.m.: It’s an electric atmosphere at Fenway Park.
Koji Uehara received a huge ovation, which was followed by chants of “Koji! Koji! Koji!”
Ryan Dempster came out in full uniform, which sparked another loud ovation.
The crowd then went nuts for David Ortiz, who rocked his two other World Series rings on a chain around his neck.
1:30 p.m.: Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington was the first to receive his World Series ring. What an amazing job Cherington did assembling last year’s team.
1:27 p.m. ET: The Flyin’ Hawaiian is here!
John Farrell said Friday morning that Victorino, who is battling the flu, was unlikely to be in attendance. Victorino surprised everyone, however, by showing up to his “Three Little Birds” walk-up song.
Victorino rubbed elbows with his teammates to avoid spreading germs, of course.
1:14 p.m.: Three World Series banners were unrolled over the Green Monster — 2004, 2007 and, of course, 2013.
Now, it’s ring time!
Keep following or watch live right here.
12:44 p.m.: Let’s run down some quick Red Sox notes before the festivities at Fenway Park get underway.
-John Farrell lauded the talent and work ethic of Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Will Middlebrooks before Friday’s game. Each player made a major impact in Thursday’s win over the Orioles.
-Farrell has been very impressed by Bogaerts’ defense thus far. Bogaerts has showed good range, and Farrell has been pleased with the 21-year-old’s tendency to let his natural abilities take over.
-The Red Sox are a very tough team anywhere, but they’re particularly tough at home. Farrell said this Red Sox team feeds off the Fenway atmosphere, and that the club finds “another gear” when playing in front of the hometown fans.
-The Red Sox already have turned the page on 2013, but moments like Friday’s ring ceremony still offer time to reflect. Farrell reiterated that the club is focused on this season’s tasks while also saying that the team must cherish special times, like this week.
-Shane Victorino is dealing with the flu. It’s unlikely he’ll be around for Friday’s home opener.
-Ryan Dempster is present for Friday’s home opener. Stephen Drew will not be in attendance.
12:36 p.m.: Opening Day at Fenway Park always gets people jacked up. And for good reason.
There have been some memorable Opening Days in recent years, including 2013, when Daniel Nava left his mark.
NESN.com’s staff tossed together some great Opening Day-related content before Friday’s home opener. I highly encourage you to check out the following galleries — one detailing memorable Fenway Opening Days, one detailing great places to sit at Fenway and one explaining great nightlife options around America’s Most Beloved Ballpark.
12:25 p.m.: Daniel Nava will return to the leadoff spot for Friday’s home opener.
The Red Sox’s outfield will consist of Nava (right field), Grady Sizemore (center field) and Mike Carp (left field). Sizemore, who was off Thursday as Jackie Bradley Jr. started in center field, is expected to start both Friday and Saturday. His status for Sunday’s series finale is unclear at this point.
Friday’s complete lineups are below.
Boston Red Sox (2-1)
Daniel Nava, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Mike Carp, LF
Grady Sizemore, CF
Xander Bogaerts, SS
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Jake Peavy, RHP
Milwaukee Brewers (1-2)
Carlos Gomez, CF
Jean Segura, SS
Ryan Braun, DH
Aramis Ramirez, 3B
Jonathan Lucroy, C
Logan Schafer, RF
Khris Davis, LF
Scooter Gennett, 2B
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Marco Estrada, RHP
8 a.m. ET: The Boston Red Sox are ready to bring the party back to Fenway Park.
It’s been a little more than five months since the Red Sox celebrated their third World Series title in 10 years in front of the Fenway Faithful. The Red Sox — fresh off two victories over the Baltimore Orioles to begin the 2014 season — now return home to receive their 2013 World Series rings and begin a three-game interleague series against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Opening Day always is special at Fenway Park, but when there’s a ring ceremony — something Red Sox fans are becoming very familiar with — the day is even more meaningful. While the Red Sox already have turned the page on 2013, Friday’s ring ceremony will give Boston fans once last chance to pay homage to last season’s champions.
Friday’s pregame ceremony is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. and, as expected, will include the presentation of the World Series rings, the performance of the national anthem, a helicopter fly-over and a ceremonial first pitch. The ceremony also will include performances by The Dropkick Muphys and the Boston Pops, as well as a moment of silence for Lt. Edward J. Walsh and firefighter Michael R. Kennedy, who died in the line of duty while fighting a nine-alarm fire in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood last week.
The Red Sox will wear special gold-trimmed uniforms for Friday’s home opener. The uniform tops and hats each will feature World Series patches.
Jake Peavy will get the start for Boston on Friday. NESN’s pregame coverage begins at 11:35 a.m., the ceremony begins at 1 p.m., and the game itself is scheduled to start up at 2:05 p.m. You don’t want to miss one minute.