Game of the day: red Sox 7, Indians 2: Thoughts back home in victory at Cleveland

2013-04-17T00:00:00Z Game of the day: red Sox 7, Indians 2: Thoughts back home in victory at ClevelandThe Associated Press The Associated Press
April 17, 2013 12:00 am  • 

CLEVELAND - They scrambled to put the jersey together, and then the Red Sox hung it proudly on the dugout wall.

For nine innings, No. 617 with "Boston" above the numerals and "Strong" below them reminded the players of home - where they were needed, where they wanted to be.

They were playing for much more than each other.

"It was just something to let them know, they're out of sight right now, but definitely not out of mind," outfielder Jonny Gomes said. "We just wanted to let people know we've got a heavy heart over here."

Mike Napoli hit a three-run double in Boston's seven-run second inning and the Red Sox, playing their first game since the deadly bombings back home, beat the Cleveland Indians 7-2 on Tuesday night.

Boston's players had already boarded buses for the airport Monday when they learned of the explosions and horror near the Boston Marathon's finish line, where three people were killed and more than 170 injured. The Red Sox were hoping to bring some relief to those affected by the tragedy.

"Given what's taken place, this is fresh on everyone's minds," manager John Farrell said. "Even though we may not be in Boston right now, we carry this with us. We feel very much a part of the city and the community and everything that goes on there.

"We have not forgotten by any means."

Before the game, Gomes asked one of Boston's clubhouse workers to make up the gray jersey with No. 617, Boston's area code, on the back.

"This is being carried by each guy," Farrell said. "Guys are really conscious of what has taken place for sure."

The series opener was also Indians manager Terry Francona's first game against the Red Sox, the team he led to two World Series titles during eight seasons in Boston.

Monday's tragic events in Boston brought a somber tone to Francona's reunion.

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