April 21st: A Royal Sweep
Red Sox 12 – Royals 2
Red Sox 8 – Royals 7
The 2002 Red Sox roared to a 40-17 start on the back of one of the league’s best offenses. Their best day may have been April 21, when they destroyed Royals pitching to the tune of 20 runs and 30 hits en route to a doubleheader sweep.
The story of the first game was the longball. The Red Sox belted five home runs: one each from Brian Daubach, Jose Offerman, and Johnny Damon and two from Manny Ramirez.
The Red Sox actually only held a 4-2 lead into the seventh inning before exploding for eight runs in the final three innings. Offerman’s three-run shot blew the game open in the seventh, and Ramirez’s and Damon’s homers put the game even more out of reach in the ninth.
The Red Sox’s hit just one home run in game two, but it was a big one. With the bases loaded in the third, Damon launched his second homer of the day to give the Red Sox a 4-2 lead. Two innings later, the Red Sox again came through with the bases juiced.
This time it was Jason Varitek, smacking a three-run double that broke the game open. The Royals would score five unanswered runs to make it an 8-7 game, but Urbina shut the door in the ninth to complete the doubleheader sweep.
The sweep moved the Red Sox to 12-4, a full two games ahead of the Yankees. The Red Sox were just getting started, however, and the next memorable moment would come less than a week later.