MEET THE METS: The Red Sox are playing their 2nd of 2 spring contests against the Mets…New York took a 6-5 decision in Port St. Lucie on 3/6…Boston and New York are not scheduled to play during the 2011 regular season…They last met in Interleague action in 2009 at Fenway park, with the Red Sox going 1-2.
YESTERDAY’S ACTION: The Red Sox fell to the Braves 4-3 yesterday afternoon in Lake Buena Vista…Jon Lester did not earn a decision after allowing 3 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks with 4 K’s over a 4.2-IP start…Dennys Reyes allowed the Braves go-ahead run in the bottom of the 7th for the loss after Boston tied it with 2 runs in the top of the frame on RBI hits by Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ryan Kalish…Marco Scutaro led off the game with a home run.
GOING GREEN: Boston will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by wearing green and white jerseys with green caps for today’s contest…It is believed the Red Sox first donned green in Winter Haven in 1990, when Roger Clemens purchased caps and stirrups for the entire team.
Jimmy Walsh is the only player in Red Sox history born in Ireland (Kallila)…The outfielder batted .257 in 70 games for Boston from 1916-17…Also Patsy Donovan (Queenstown) managed the club to a 159-147-5 record from 1910-11.
HOME SWEET HOME: The Red Sox have won 5 straight home tilts beginning on 3/7, outscoring opponents 22-11 in those contests…In 12 games overall in that time, Boston has gone 8-4.
RED SOX RELIEF EFFORTS: Led by Red Sox pitchers Daisuke Matsuzaka, a native of Tokyo, Japan, and Hideki Okajima, from Kyoto, Japan, the Sox are encouraging fans to donate to Japanese disaster relief through the team charity, the Red Sox Foundation…100% of donations received will be directed to Red Cross relief efforts in Japan…The Red Sox Foundation has committed to donate $50,000, and Matsuzaka and Okajima, along with fellow Sox pitchers Junichi Tazawa and Itsuki Shoda, are each making personal donations. Matsuzaka, Okajima, Tazawa and Shoda will join team staff to collect donations prior to today’s game at the gates…All 4 players and staff accepted donations from fans prior to Monday night’s game at City of Palms, amassing more than $4,600.
Matsuzaka and Okajima recorded video messages in Japanese and English expressing support for their country and asking fans to make a donation…The videos are available on the team’s official website at redsox.com/japan, and on the charity’s website, redsoxfoundation.org.
LESTER GETS THE NOD: Manager Terry Francona announced yesterday that Jon Lester will start for Boston in the team’s 2011 regular season opener at Texas on 4/1…It will mark the 1st career Opening Day start for Lester, who has started Boston’s 2nd game of the season in each of the past 3 years.
DID YOU KNOW: In the last 24 years beginning 1987, David Wells is the only left-hander to make an Opening Day start for Boston, losing to NYY in 2005.
MINOR NEWS: Dan Wheeler threw 18 pitches (11 strikes) over 2.0 scoreless IP in a minor league game for Single-A Greenville yesterday at the Red Sox Player Development Complex…He struck out 1 and allowed just 1 base runner (HBP). Bobby Jenks is slated to pitch 2.0 innings in a minor league game tomorrow at the Red Sox Player Development Complex…Hideki Okajima is scheduled to toss a minor league inning at the PDC on Saturday.
CROWDED HOUSE: With 7,859 fans at Monday night’s game against the Yankees, it marked the 8th sellout at City of Palms Park this spring…Boston has sold out 112 of its last 113 Grapefruit League (non-exhibition) games at City of Palms Park dating back to 3/16/03, the exception being 3/8’s split-squad tilt vs. Houston. 11 of the Sox 12 road games this spring have been sellouts, including yesterday’s crowd of 11,235 in Lake Buena Vista.
The Sox enter the 2011 season having sold out a Major League-record 631 consecutive games at Fenway Park beginning 5/15/03.