After the Cleveland Indians scored the fewest runs in the American League last season, the fences were brought in and lowered at Cleveland Stadium.
The 65,813 at the home opener Saturday got their money’s worth with a 19-inning marathon, but the new field dimensions helped the Boston Red Sox win, 7-5.
Only about half the fans were still there when Tim Naehring hit a two-run home run to break up the 6-hour 30-minute game. Mo Vaughn and Jody Reed also homered for the Red Sox.
In some places the fences were brought in as many as 25 feet and lowered as much as eight feet. While the Indians had 20 hits, six by Carlos Baerga, they didn’t put any over the fence.
Naehring had two home runs in 140 at-bats in parts of two previous seasons. The teams had been scoreless after the Indians scored twice during the seventh until Naehring hit the home run against Eric Bell with one out after a walk to Vaughn.
There were 34 hits and 15 pitchers were used. Today they will play a doubleheader.