Francona back in Beantown
Terry Francona returned to Fenway Park and found some more pleasant memories. A standing ovation. A video tribute to his time as manager...
BOSTON — Terry Francona returned to Fenway Park and found some more pleasant memories.
A standing ovation. A video tribute to his time as manager of the Boston Red Sox. And, most important, a win for his Cleveland Indians.
Drew Stubbs, Mark Reynolds and Michael Bourn combined for nine hits and eight runs batted in and the Indians had 16 hits in their 12-3 win on Thursday night.
"I tried to keep my emotions inside," said Francona, who led the Red Sox to two World Series championships in eight years. "I didn't want to be the main focus. You want to let the players play."
Francona, let go by Boston after the 2011 season, got the ovation after the first inning during a video display on the center-field scoreboard. He raised his left hand to the crowd and tapped his heart with his right.
"I was honored," he said.
And, perhaps, just a bit emotional.
"It was just neat to see the organization do that for him," Reynolds said. "I think I saw him teary-eyed a little bit during that thing. It was pretty neat, and I was glad to be a part of it."
It was the fans' only chance to cheer for Francona. He didn't bring out the lineup card and didn't have to leave the visiting dugout during the game because all of Cleveland's pitching changes came at the start of an inning.
He had left Boston as the second-winningest manager, behind Joe Cronin, in club history.
In his first year as Cleveland's manager, he has the Indians in first place in the AL Central after they went 68-94 last season.
They're 22-9 in their past 31 games.
"They've got a good team and are in first place for a reason, not by accident," said Boston manager John Farrell, Francona's former pitching coach with the Red Sox.
Before the game, Francona said he was happy to be back in baseball. He spent last season as a TV analyst.
"Being in a dugout or clubhouse, there's no place I'm more comfortable," Francona said. "Part of the reason I'm OK with this is I'm really proud of coming here with this hat on, this uniform.
"And that takes nothing away from the eight years I was here. It makes it easier for me to look back on some of the fonder memories, and now you start new ones in another place."
After Francona spoke with reporters for about 20 minutes, Red Sox star David Ortiz walked into the Indians dugout with a big smile and embraced his former manager.
"He did a lot to really put Red Sox baseball back on top of the world," said former Red Sox pitcher Justin Masterson, now with the Indians. "Everyone here loved him. Everyone on our team loves him. And everyone in Cleveland loves him. He's just an incredible guy."
Astros vendor fired, took snow cones into bathroom
HOUSTON — A vendor at Houston's Minute Maid Park was fired after a fan filmed him taking a tray of snow cones into a stadium bathroom and putting it on the floor of the stall while using the facilities.
The fan shared the video with KPRC-TV, which aired the report Wednesday night.
• Injured New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira could soon start playing in minor-league games, while pitcher Andy Pettitte is also working his way back to the majors.
• The Texas Rangers placed right-hander Derek Lowe on unconditional-release waivers and signed utility man Mark Teahen to a minor-league deal.
• The Philadelphia Phillies placed five-time All-Star second baseman Chase Utley on the 15-day disabled list with an oblique strain. Utley could miss up to four weeks.
• The Arizona Diamondbacks said outfielder Adam Eaton's injured left elbow has an irritation but no structural damage. Still, it's a setback for Eaton, who has been on the DL all season.
• Former slugger Jose Canseco denied a woman's claim that he sexually assaulted her, calling the allegations in Nevada "laughable" before playing in an independent league game in Fort Worth, Texas. The 48-year-old said he was prepared to take a polygraph test.
• The Toronto Blue Jays held a moment of silence before their game against Baltimore to mark the death of prolific scout Epy Guerrero. He died Thursday at 71 in his native Dominican Republic. No other details were provided.