Playing without their ailing manager, the Red Sox rallied for
five runs off Rivera in the ninth inning -- helped by Alex Rodriguez's costly error -- and beat New York 7-3 Wednesday to avoid
a season-opening sweep.
Francona left a New York hospital Wednesday night and was taken by ambulance to Boston, where he'll remain at Massachusetts General Hospital overnight for observation. He'll be further evaluated there by the Red Sox medical director Dr. Thomas Gill.
It isn't known what caused Francona's chest discomfort or when he'll rejoin the team, but Epstein told ESPN Baseball Tonight's Karl Ravech that Francona did not have a heart attack.
Bench coach Brad Mills filled in for Francona.
"We're just concerned about Tito and what's going on," Mills
said. "They're a great bunch of guys, a great bunch of coaches,
and they did a great job."
Derek Jeter left the game after he was hit in the helmet by a
pitch and was taken to a hospital for a precautionary CT scan. The
results were normal and Jeter was expected to play Friday night
against Baltimore, the Yankees said.
The teams play three more games next week at Fenway Park
beginning with Boston's home opener Monday, when the Red Sox will
receive their World Series rings.
"It was a huge win to get us on the board," Boston
knuckleballer Tim Wakefield said.
Rivera entered in the ninth with a 3-2 lead for the second
consecutive day and blew it again. He issued a leadoff walk to Bill
Mueller before consecutive singles by Mark Bellhorn and Johnny
Damon loaded the bases with none out.
"Even though I walked Mueller, I made my pitches," Rivera
said. "After that, I was getting groundballs that were going
through the holes. There's nothing you can do against that. I'm
After Trot Nixon struck out, Manny Ramirez hit a routine
grounder to Rodriguez at third. He should have been able to get at
least a force play at the plate and possibly a game-ending double
play, but he bobbled the ball and the tying run scored.
"When I went down with two hands, I think I locked myself up,"
Rodriguez said. "I was going to go to second before the bobble.
Then I knew I still had Bill Mueller at home, but then I bobbled it
After walking Doug Mirabelli, Rivera was lifted -- a rare sight.
He walked off the mound to a healthy dose of boos, but he thought
those must have come from Red Sox fans.
"I think it's inexcusable if the boos were from Yankee fans
because they wouldn't be crawling all over themselves to get into
this ballpark if it weren't for him," New York manager Joe Torre
Pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre had a similar reaction.
"I was very surprised by that. Everything he's done here and in
this ballpark, I was shocked. But that's New York," Stottlemyre
The final run scored on Felix Rodriguez's wild pitch.
Rivera (1-1) allowed five runs -- one earned -- and three walks in
two-thirds of an inning. He also gave up three hits and threw 38
"I don't want to say he lost his cool, but he definitely lost
his command," Stottlemyre said.
The All-Star closer has blown his last four save chances against
the Red Sox, including two in the 2004 playoffs, and six
opportunities in all against Boston since the start of last season.
He yielded Jason Varitek's tying homer in the ninth on Tuesday,
but Jeter bailed out Rivera with a game-winning homer in the bottom
"Yesterday's game had nothing to do with today," Rivera said.
Mike Timlin (1-0) got two outs for the win. His first pitch hit
Jeter in the left shoulder and then deflected off his ear flap,
knocking Jeter's helmet off and sending him sprawling to the dirt.
He remained in the game to run the bases, but was replaced at
shortstop by Rey Sanchez in the ninth.
"He heard some ringing in his ears. He felt a little woozy,"
Torre said. "Timlin wasn't trying to hit him. He was just trying
to rush a little, and his ball was all over the place."
The Red Sox got a strong outing from Wakefield, who allowed only
three hits in 6 2/3 innings -- including solo homers by Rodriguez
Making his first start of the year, Mike Mussina gave up nine
hits but worked out of trouble. Helped by three double plays, he
limited the Red Sox to two runs in six innings.
Kevin Millar's two-run single gave Boston the lead in the
Rodriguez homered to center in the bottom half, his first of the
season. Martinez tied it at 2 when he connected in the fifth, his
first since returning to the Yankees. A fan favorite in New York
while winning four World Series titles from 1996-01, Martinez got a
huge ovation and popped out of the dugout for a curtain call.
The Red Sox said Francona was to be transferred to Boston
via Medi-Vac later Wednesday, and will remain under evaluation
under the supervision of team medical director Dr. Thomas Gill. ...
Millar left in the sixth with a cramp in his left knee but is not
expected to miss any time. After going 3-for-3, he was replaced by
David McCarty. ... Boston outhit the Yankees 14-4. ... The Red Sox
have not been swept in a three-game series to start the season
since 1996 at Texas.