Red Sox nation gathers to mourn WilliamsPosted: Friday July 05, 2002 11:23 PM
Updated: Saturday July 06, 2002 12:05 AM
BOSTON (AP) -- It was a tough day for Nomar Garciaparra even before the game started. His friend, Ted Williams, had died and now he had to go out and play baseball.
Batting in the No. 3 slot long occupied by Williams, he went 0-for-4. Playing shortstop in front of Williams' retired No. 9 etched by a lawn mower in the left-field grass where the Hall of Famer played, he made an error in Detroit's 9-5 win over Boston on Friday night.
He and Williams discussed hitting. Williams would even call him in the clubhouse.
But Garciaparra didn't blame the loss that ended the Red Sox five-game winning streak on a lack of focus after a pregame moment of silence, a trumpeter playing "Taps" and a short video of Williams playing. Williams died Friday morning in Florida of cardiac arrest at the age of 83.
"I'm not going to make excuses that it carried over to the game," Garciaparra said. "It was just one of those games."
The Red Sox, wearing black armbands on their right sleeves and patches with No. 9, committed three errors, allowed four unearned runs, struggled against Mark Redman (4-8) and allowed a career-high three RBIs to rookie Ramon Santiago.
"You can definitely feel the presence of what happened today," said Frank Castillo (5-9). "You want to do well and, for some reason, in the sixth inning I screwed up and it just killed us."
That's when the Tigers broke a 2-2 tie with four runs on a two-run single by Santiago and RBI singles by Robert Fick and George Lombard. Santiago's sacrifice fly in the eighth made it 7-3.
Redman allowed four runs and nine hits in eight innings and improved to 4-3 in his last seven decisions after going 0-5. He entered the game last in the majors in run support among starters with 2.88 runs per game.
"When I got the run support, I was able to go right after the hitters," he said. "The guys played great behind me. That's the first time all season I've had that combination."
Detroit, 30-53 this season, is 4-2 in its last six games and got its first win by more than one run since June 16 when it won 6-0 in Atlanta.
"We are executing better now. We are getting the guy over and we are getting the guy in," Tigers manager Luis Pujols said.
Garciaparra led the AL in batting in 2000 at .372, the highest average by a Red Sox player since Williams hit .406 in 1941. And Garciaparra started the night 7-for-9 in his career against Redman. All he managed Friday was an RBI groundout in the sixth after Johnny Damon tripled. That made it 6-3.
"I don't think there was any distraction," Lou Merloni, Garciaparra's best friend on the team, said. "We just didn't play well enough to win."
Redman held the Red Sox scoreless through four innings, gave up two runs in the fifth when Boston tied the game then allowed a run in the sixth and Damon's homer in the eighth.
But Detroit's four-run outburst in the sixth was more than enough.
Tim Wakefield replaced Castillo and struck out Brandon Inge for the first out. Then Santiago singled in two runs and Lombard singled in another.
Boston had tied it at 2 in the fifth. Doug Mirabelli hit the first pitch of the inning for his fourth homer of the season. Bryant Nelson then doubled with two outs and scored on Merloni's single.
The Tigers capitalized on two errors to score two unearned runs in the third.
With one out, Santiago reached first when second baseman Nelson let a routine grounder get by him. Lombard singled, then was caught in a rundown between first and second on an attempted steal. But Garciaparra let a throw bounce off the top of his glove for the second error, allowing Santiago to score and Lombard to reach second. Lombard took third on a single by Dmitri Young and scored on a single by Simon.
Notes: Some fans held signs with Williams' name on them, but most behaved as they usually do, cheering good plays by Boston players and booing third-base umpire Jim Wolf when he called Trot Nixon out trying to advance to third on a flyout. Replays indicated Nixon was safe. ... Rickey Henderson got his 130th career assist, fifth among active outfielders, when he threw Young out at home on a single by Fick in the third. Barry Bonds leads all active outfielders with 148. ... Tigers DH Young left the game with an aggravated hernia. Craig Paquette pinch-hit for him in the fifth and grounded into a forceout at second. ... Inge was the only Detroit starter without a hit. ... Manny Ramirez went 1-for-4 and is 9-for-39 since coming off the disabled list after missing 39 games with a broken finger.