BOSTON — Masataka Yoshida made his MLB debut Thursday when the Boston Red Sox hosted the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park.
But stepping onto the field in Boston was different for more reasons than one for Yoshida. And there were many aspects he appreciated more than the Boston weather, which included a temperature of 38 degrees at first pitch.
“Very cold,” Yoshida said with a smile after Boston’s 10-9 loss, breaking away from using his translator to answer the question himself. “It was cold but my heart was burned.”
If Yoshida was cold out on the diamond, he didn’t show it. The Japanese standout finished as one of Boston’s hottest bats with two hits and reached base a third time as he was hit by a pitch.
Yoshida was in the batter’s box with one out in the ninth inning. He reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to second on a throwing error to keep Boston alive as the Red Sox cut their once six-run deficit to a mere one run.
“This is a really great experience,” Yoshida said. “This is a new step in my career. And I was really excited to play where I wanted to go.”
Yoshida said he looks forward to keeping the ball of his first hit in his locker before bringing it home to Japan to show his family.