The debuts of the Red Sox's big-ticket offseason additions couldn't have been bigger opposites.
Adrian Gonzalez, the slugging first baseman acquired in a December trade with the Padres, served RBI singles in each of his first two at-bats Friday against the Rangers. Gonzalez finished with three RBI and even stole a base, only the second steal of his career.
Meanwhile, speedy left fielder Carl Crawford admitted before the game to feeling butterflies about a season opener with a new team. He finished 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and continued his trend from last season of struggling against left-handed pitchers.
"First day in a Red Sox uniform and we lost," Crawford said after Texas rallied for a 9-5 win. "I was hoping it would be one of those memorable moments, but it wasn't. I don't know. I think I was trying as hard as I could. I was probably pressing a little bit, I'm not sure. It's just one of those things. It was tough on me today."
Gonzalez said, "He's going to come back and have a great season. One day doesn't mean anything. C.J. is pretty tough. It's one of those things. He'll bounce back."
Gonzalez has bounced back smoothly from offseason shoulder surgery. Despite not playing in a spring training game until March 12, he finished the Grapefruit League season on a positive note with two home runs in the final week.
Facing the Rangers, the team with which he played his first major league games in 2004 but never got a chance to be an everyday player because of the presence of Mark Teixeira, Gonzalez showed he has no ill effects from the surgery. His two hits came against tough Rangers left-hander C.J. Wilson.
"That's why we got him," manager Terry Francona said. "Lefty, righty, he stayed in the middle (of the plate). That was good. Again, (Wilson's) a tough lefty."
But a stolen base? Nobody could've seen that coming, not even Rangers catcher Yorvit Torrealba, against whom Gonzalez stole his only other base in 2009.
"I told him when I went up my next at-bat, 'Do you realize my only two career stolen bases are against you?'" Gonzalez said. "He was like, 'Dang. That's why I like you so much.' We had a good relationship last year in San Diego. We know each other really well.
"When (Francona) put the steal on, I was like, 'Have you guys seen me run before?' But they knew what they were doing. (The Rangers) didn't even throw."
Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.