The Red Sox opened their four game jaunt in Japan with a win on Saturday afternoon (Friday night/Saturday morning in the Eastern US) with a 6-5 win over the Hanshin Tigers in the Tokyo Dome. A raucous, sellout crowd saw the Sox score four runs in the first on a David Ortiz home run and a three-run shot by J.D. Drew.
The Tigers are very similar to the Red Sox in that they have probably the most knowlegeable, rabid and passionate fan base of any team in Japan. They follow the team all over Japan, and sometimes outnumber the home team's fans. (Sound familiar?)
Clay Buchholz once again struggled this spring, giving up four runs to Hanshin in the second. In all four starts he's gotten knocked around. Granted, you can't get too high or low when it comes to spring training, but you have to wonder if Buchholz could probably do with some more time in AAA.
But the good news is that there were no injuries last night, and the Sox will play Japan's equivalent of the Yankees, the Yomiuri Giants, at their home park, the Tokyo Dome, on Sunday night (Sunday morning at 6 AM here). Then on Tuesday, the regular season begins with the Oakland A's.