WASHINGTON (AP) — Jason Bay had four hits, including his 19th homer and a two-run single that helped break open the game in the eighth inning, and Jacoby Ellsbury’s had the first two-triple game of his career and a pair of singles in the Boston Red Sox’s 11-3 victory against the overmatched Washington Nationals on Tuesday night.
In their first regular season visit since 1971 — when Boston great Ted Williams was managing the Washington Senators — the Red Sox took the lead for good on Jason Varitek’s flyball off Julian Tavarez (3-5) in the seventh inning. Manny Delcarmen (2-1) got the win in relief for the Red Sox, who have won 14 of 19 in June.
The game was Red Sox Nation meets NatsTown, and the two nicknames proved to be accurate descriptions of the relative sizes of the fan bases. Chants of “Let’s go, Red Sox!” echoed throughout the evening from the crowd of 41,517, the largest yet for a 14-month-old Nationals Park that usually has more seats empty than filled. Boston’s three-game visit is expected to be the only series that sells out this year, and the throng that arrived early to watch batting practice was larger than some that have stuck around for the ends of rain-delayed games this season.
Behind the visitor’s dugout, fans screamed “Papi” when David Ortiz walked nearby — and he wasn’t even in the lineup because there was no designated hitter. Inside the posh ballpark’s Presidents Club, the menu was Boston baked beans, New England lobster salad, Boston beer and Harvard beet salad. Several lawmakers from New England states — including Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry -made the 1-mile trip from the Capitol to see their home team.
Trying not to be outdone, Nationals fans mounted a decent roar when they scored the game’s first run. Ryan Zimmerman snapped an 0-for-17 skid with a single and was doubled home by Adam Dunn, ending Brad Penny’s streak of two starts without allowing an earned run. Zimmerman singled again in the fourth and scored on a wild pitch, and Willie Harris doubled home another Washington run in the sixth.
But Boston had too much firepower. Bay homered in the second, singled and scored in the fourth, then singled during rallies in the seventh and eighth innings. Ellsbury tripled in the fourth and eighth, singled in the second and sixth, walked in the seventh and finished with three RBIs and his 30th stolen base. The Red Sox scored six runs in the eighth against Washington’s dodgy bullpen, when Rocco Baldelli led off with a single as a pinch hitter and ended up batting twice, making the third out on a fielder’s choice.
Penny allowed three runs over 5 2-3 innings for the Red Sox. John Lannan gave up three runs over 6 1-3 innings for the Nationals, who have lost two in a row to sap the momentum from last week’s season-long, four-game winning streak.
NOTES: There was a pregame moment of silence in memory of the nine people who died Monday in an accident on Washington’s subway system. … The Red Sox visited the Smithsonian’s American history museum before the game and donated two World Series items: a third base bag used in 2004 and a jersey worn by Jon Lester in 2007. … Boston 3B Mike Lowell returned to the lineup after missing two games with a sore hip. … Washington RF Josh Willingham made his first start since returning from bereavement leave following the death of his brother. … Boston SS Nick Green made the defensive play of the game, snagging a grounder near second base and tagging runner Cristian Guzman in one motion before making an acrobatic throw to first for the double play. … Boston’s Dusty Brown made his major league debut, entering the game as the catcher in the ninth inning.


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