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The A’s made it a nice homecoming for Nomar Garciaparra in his big return to Fenway.
Oakland made it look easy, controlling every aspect of the game en route to a 6-0 win. Rookie pitcher Brett Anderson pitched a complete game and held the Red Sox to only two hits, a single each to Jason Bay and Nick Green.
While making his way to the plate in a scoreless game, Garciaparra received a standing ovation from the Fenway Faithful in his first appearance in Fenway Park since he was traded to the Chicago Cubs during the 2004 season.
Jason Giambi led off the fourth inning with a single off Red Sox starter John Smoltz. A Nomar single scored the first A’s run, and a Mark Ellis double adding two more. Adam Kennedy capped off the four-run inning with a single that scored Ellis.
The four-run inning was all that Anderson needed. Facing the first three batters after the A’s put up four, he struck out the stride, getting Julio Lugo, Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz. Anderson went on to strike out nine total on way to the complete game shutout.
Solid outfield plays by Bay and Rocco Baldelli were not enough, as the Sox could not produce any type of offense. This was the second time the Sox were shut out this season.
In the top of the ninth, with two outs, Orlando Cabrera, who was traded for Nomar in 2004, hit a shot over the Green Monster. Lugo, Youkilis and Ortiz went down one-two-three again in the bottom of the ninth to close out the game.
There was a long pause for Garciaparra in the second when he came to the plate. He tipped his cap during the standing ovation, but ended up grounding out to third in the at bat.
The Sox and A’s continue the three-game series Tuesday.
Brett Anderson: Any time a rookie can come into Fenway Park and pitch a complete game shutout with nine strikeouts and only two hits, it deserves to be mentioned.
“I got chills from seeing that… I am real happy to be here,” said NESN’s Dennis Eckersley on Nomar’s standing ovation before his first at bat.
Nomar Garciaparra is fourth all time in Red Sox history with a .323 batting average. He is behind only Ted Williams (.344), Wade Boggs (.338), and Tris Speaker (.337).