BOSTON(AP) It was a game of firsts for big names
- and Oakland rookie
On a night when the 21-year veteran Smoltz made his
debut at Fenway Park and Garciaparra played there for the first time as an opponent, the 21-year-old Athletics left-hander
threw a two-hit shutout in a 6-0 win Monday.
''It kind of eased me into the game, knowing that the focus obviously is not going to be on me,'' said Anderson, who was 82
days old when Smoltz made his major league debut on April 23, 1988.
Anderson (5-7) pitched the first complete game of his career and Oakland's first since
threw one last July 8. He struck out a career-high nine and allowed two singles and two walks while throwing 111 pitches.
''It was a complete game in this ballpark against that team,'' Oakland manager
said. ''It's obviously very special for anybody, especially somebody of his age.''
It was really special for Garciaparra. The former
shortstop hit .323 in 8 1/2 seasons for them before being dealt at the trade deadline in 2004, the year they won their first
World Series since 1918. He tipped his helmet and tapped his chest as he received a one-minute standing ovation before his
first at-bat, then singled to drive in the first run.
''You don't know how things are going to play out,'' Garciaparra said. ''There's no script for that one. I think what you
saw out there was just pure emotion, from the fans, from myself.''
managed Garciaparra for the first half of 2004.
''It looked like it really touched him,'' Francona said. ''They're crazy fans but they're so wrapped up emotionally in their
team and people that have been a part of their teams.''
Oakland began the day with the AL's lowest batting average (.240), second-worst record (34-46) and eight losses in its previous
11 games. Boston has the best record in the league (49-33) and leads the
New York Yankees
by one game in the AL East.
Smoltz (0-2) made his third start after missing more than a year following shoulder surgery in his 20th season with Atlanta.
He remained winless since an 8-0 victory over Florida on April 17, 2008.
''I'm almost there. I really am,'' Smoltz said. ''I always felt I could pitch in any ballpark, any stadium, against any team,
but there's some familiarity that comes with it. I don't know some guys.
He gave up four runs in the fourth
Anderson held the
hitless in four at-bats with runners in scoring position after entering the game with a .365 batting average against him in
those situations, fourth-highest in the AL.
With one out in the second,
singled and stole second.
grounded into a double play. That began a stretch of 10 straight outs, five on consecutive strikeouts.
Baldelli ended that streak with a two-out walk in the fifth and
singled, but Aaron Bates, playing his first major-league game, struck out.
''The roughest inning was when I faced Bates there with two outs,'' Anderson said. ''You want to go out there and pound the
zone and try to get him to swing at a ball out of the zone and I was able to do that.''
threatened again with one out in the seventh when center fielder
dropped Bay's fly ball for a three-base error. But Anderson got Varitek to foul out to first and Baldelli to fly to right.
Smoltz allowed hits to the first three batters in the fourth - a double by
, a single by
and an RBI single by Garciaparra.
then doubled home two runs and
got the first of his two RBI singles.
Oakland got its last run in the ninth when
, who came to Boston in the 2004 trade and replaced Garciaparra at shortstop, hit his fourth homer.
NOTES: Boston 2B
was scratched from the lineup to be with his pregnant wife, who was hospitalized. SS
took his spot in the lineup and Green moved to 2B. ... The
on the 15-day DL, transferred SS
from the 15- to the 60-day DL and called up Bates from Triple-A Pawtucket. ... The Athletics placed LHP
on the bereavement list and recalled LHP
from Triple-A Sacramento.