MLB notebook: Ortiz fires up emotional crowd at Fenway
BOSTON — A defiant David Ortiz stood on the Fenway Park infield and told the crowd to “stay strong,” bringing a rousing cheer from Bostonians weary from a week of bombings, stay-at-home orders and a manhunt that locked down the city for a day.
Playing at home for the first time since two explosions at the Boston Marathon finish line killed three people and wounded more than 180 others, the Red Sox honored the victims and the survivors with a pregame ceremony and an emotional video of scenes from Monday's race.
“This past week, I don't think there's one human being who wasn't affected by what was going on down here,” Ortiz said after the Red Sox beat the Kansas City Royals. “I was emotional, very angry about the whole situation. ... Everybody was hurting. I know it's going to take some time to heal up, but the one thing everybody's got to remember is that everybody supports each other.”
The first-pitch ceremony honored a first responder, a victim of the blast, and a marathon institution: Dick and Rick Hoyt, who have participated in the race for more than 20 years.
Then Ortiz took the microphone and, in what he later said was an unplanned outburst, let loose with an expletive that drew a huge cheer from the 35,152 who managed to make it through the beefed-up security and into their seats on time.
“This is our (expletive) city, and nobody is going to dictate our freedom,” he said. “Stay strong.”
Neil Diamond, who flew into town on his own and asked if he could sing “Sweet Caroline,” gave a live performance in the eighth inning of the Fenway staple that has been adopted by opposing ballclubs to show their support for the city.
As Diamond, a New York native who wore a Red Sox cap, left the field, fans chanted “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” In the bottom half of the inning, Daniel Nava hit a three-run homer to give the Red Sox the lead, and they held on to win, 4-3.
Ortiz, who had been on the disabled list all season, took the microphone and showed fans the specially designed uniforms saying “Boston” on the front instead of the “Red Sox” they have worn for decades. Both teams wore patches with the “B Strong” logo.
The Red Sox said their uniforms would be autographed and auctioned off to raise money for the One Fund Boston, the charity established to help the victims.
Injured Rockies pitcher Chacin to have MRI
Rockies pitcher Jhoulys Chacin was scheduled to undergo an MRI to try to determine the severity of a back injury that brought an abrupt end to an impressive outing Friday night against the Diamondbacks.
Chacin will have the scan on Monday.
Viciedo put on DL by White Sox
Outfielder Dayan Viciedo was placed on the 15-day disabled list by the White Sox because of a strained left oblique.
Viciedo was injured while batting in the eighth inning at Toronto on Thursday, and the roster move was made retroactive to Friday. He is batting .229 (11 for 48) with two homers and five RBI in 13 games.
The Astros placed outfielder J.D. Martinez on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained right knee. … The Athletics recalled right-hander Jesse Chavez from Triple-A Sacramento and optioned pitcher Evan Scribner to the Pacific Coast League club.