The Boston Red Sox made their return to the Fenway Park field an emotional one on Saturday. Sunday they'll go for an eighth straight win to start a day/night doubleheader against the Kansas City Royals.
The night contest will wrap this three-game series and is a rescheduled game from Friday's postponement when Boston was in complete lockdown due to the search and eventual capture of the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings.
Boston's 4-3 comeback win yesterday came after extensive bone-chilling moments that included pregame ceremonies to honor the victims from the past week. Neil Diamond led the crowd in a rousing rendition of "Sweet Caroline" after the top of the eighth inning.
Then, Daniel Nava sent the crowd into a frenzy with a three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth.
Nava's two-out shot off Kelvin Herrera (1-2) erased a 2-1 deficit.
"He left a change-up middle-in and he hit it for a homer. I don't bail on guys after a bad outing, or two bad outings. He had bad outing, a good outing and then another bad outing. He will get on a good roll and be fine," Royals manager Ned Yost said of Herrera.
Andrew Bailey gave up a leadoff home run to Lorenzo Cain in the ninth, but retired Alex Gordon on a grounder to short with two men on base to close out Boston's seventh straight win.
"A fantastic finish to a great day," Red Sox manager John Farrell said.
Boston starter Clay Buchholz (4-0) gave up two runs on eight hits with one walk and six strikeouts in eight innings.
David Ortiz collected two hits and one RBI in his season debut for the Red Sox, who have won 12 of their first 16 games for the first time since 2002.
Ortiz was activated from the 15-day disabled list before Saturday's emotional contest. He began the season on the DL because of right Achilles tendinopathy after being limited to 90 games last year.
A win today would give the Red Sox their longest victory streak since capturing nine straight from June 3-12, 2011.
Ervin Santana will start on the mound this afternoon for the Royals. The righty threw eight innings in a no-decision against Toronto last Sunday. He's 3-3 in 11 career starts against Boston, posting a 4.13 ERA.
Boston's Ryan Dempster has yet to lose during his career against the Royals as he's compiled a 2-0 mark with a 4.00 ERA in three starts and he starts the first game today. Dempster has pitched well this season, but doesn't have a win to show for it. On Monday, he logged 10 strikeouts over seven solid innings in a no-decision against Tampa Bay.
Allen Webster, an 18th-round draft pick by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2008, will make his major league debut when he gets the ball for the Red Sox in the night contest. The 23-year-old right-hander was recalled from Triple-A Portland. He was acquired last summer in the deal that sent Adrian Gonzalez to LA.
Jeremy Guthrie, who has two wins over his first three starts and is coming off a no-decision at Atlanta on Tuesday, gets the call for the Royals under the lights. The right-hander is 3-8 with a 4.88 ERA in 20 games (18 starts) when facing the Red Sox.
Boston was 4-3 against Kansas City last season.