Nava home run lifts Red Sox, Fenway
From tears to cheers, the healing has begun in Boston.
A week of despicable acts that created incomparable sadness saw the city take a first step to recovery on Saturday at Fenway Park.
The stars — heroes isn't fitting here — were Daniel Nava, whose three-run home run in the eighth inning erased a 2-1 deficit and David Ortiz, who made an impassioned pregame speech and delivered a game-tying hit in the sixth while going 2 for 4 in his first action of the season.
"I think today was different because we haven't been through what we've been through this past week," Ortiz said. "Driving around and looking around at people's faces, it was a very emotional day here just looking at those guys that were injured by those bombs going off and watching the news nearly every day, it was painful, very painful. Today I could see people opening their chest and letting it go."
Big Papi let go with an expletive in his pregame speech. Even the FCC was willing to overlook the language — for this day. Its chairman, Julius Genachowksi, tweeted, "David Ortiz spoke from the heart at today's Red Sox game. I stand with Big Papi and the people of Boston."
It didn't look as if the Fenway faithful were going to be sent home happy. The Royals led 2-1 and Kansas City reliever Tim Collins — from nearby Worcester, Mass. — had escaped a jam in the seventh and got Ortiz to ground into a double play in the eighth. Mike Napoli then walked, setting up Napa.
He launched a 1-1 pitch from Kelvin Herrrera into the Red Sox bullpen and the crowd of 35,152 rejoiced minutes after it joined Neil Diamond in "Sweet Caroline," the team and Fenway's anthem of sorts.
"Knowing everything that went into the day for the city, for us to get the win, it came in a special way, special fashion," Nava said after Boston's seventh consecutive victory. "It made it all that more important."
And if that weren't enough, Buzzfeed.com reported a couple was married in the stands during the seventh inning.
The site reported: a man in the stands behind them yelled "Sit down! Now you're married, like everybody else."
Jacoby Ellsbury (@JacobyEllsbury) April 20, 2013
Yes, Boston is on its way back.