Monday, April 4, 2011
Pick your best moment of Red Sox sweep
By Richard Durrett
ARLINGTON, Texas -- It was a big weekend for the Rangers, who swept the Boston Red Sox behind an historic offensive display and begin the season 3-0 and in first place in the AL West. So to get things started on this Monday, pick your best moment of the weekend and tell us why it was the favorite for you:
* Player introductions on Opening Day. It was a presentation like nothing we've seen at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, thanks to the new videoboard above the Home Run Porch in right and the fine work of Chuck Morgan and crew. There was a 4-minute opening that was Texas-themed and ran through the history of the Rangers and then the players were introduced. Plus, the AL championship banner was raised.
* Mike Napoli hits a homer down the left field line to give the Rangers a 5-4 lead in the fourth on Opening Day, his first big hit as a Ranger.
* After David Ortiz had tied it in the top of the eighth with a homer off Darren Oliver, the Rangers struck for four runs, the biggest ones coming off David Murphy's pinch-hit double that drew chalk down the left-field line. The hits kept coming after that and Texas had a 9-5 lead.
* One day after leading off the Opening Day game with a solo shot, Ian Kinsler does it again, hitting a homer to lead off Game 2 of the season. He's the first player in ML history to do that.
* The Rangers blow the second game of the series wide open with six two-out runs in the fourth inning. The crucial moment comes when the Red Sox elect to intentionally walk Josh Hamilton to load the bases for former Red Sox Adrian Beltre. The Rangers' new third baseman makes them pay, sending the second pitch of the at-bat out for a grand slam home run, the ninth of his career.
* All of the players from the 2010 season still on the roster receive their AL championship rings in a ceremony before Saturday's game. It's a way of honoring the squad that took the Rangers to the franchise's first World Series.
* Nelson Cruz hits an absolute missile to right field and into the upper deck in right late in Sunday's game. It's just the second time that a right-handed hitter has belted one into the upper deck opposite field in this ballpark. Cruz and Kinsler become the first pair of teammates to hit homers in each of their team's first three games.
* Davy Crockett, rifle in hand, wins the Texas Legends dot race at the park on Sunday.
* Matt Harrison strikes out Jacoby Ellsbury to end the seventh inning and keep the Rangers ahead by two runs on Sunday. When he did it, the crowd went nuts.
Did we miss any moments? Give us your favorite.