BOSTON -- Play enough times in front of the fabled 37-foot "Green Monster," the leftfield wall at Fenway Park, and you're going to have some bad memories -- either of watching opponents' pop flies soar over it or of misplaying line drives that carom off it. When he was with the Braves, interleague play afforded Andruw Jones the chance to experience it, and it wasn't pleasant.
"A long time ago, I hit this wall, and I felt like I got hit by a car," Jones said Saturday after playing a major role in the Yankees' 6-1 win over the Red Sox in the first game of a day-night doubleheader. "It's not fun running into that wall over there."
Jones ran into it again while making a spectacular catch to start a sixth-inning double play, and he clubbed two of the Yankees' four home runs that went over the Monster. He also cleared the Monster on Felix Doubront's first pitch of the seventh in Game 2. It was a vintage performance by the 35-year-old outfielder, whose homers boosted his career total to 430. He has 43 multiple-homer games.
Just as he did in his first season with the Yankees a year ago, Jones -- whose Game 2 shot gave him 10 homers and 19 RBIs -- began this season sluggishly. But he heated up quickly against lefthander Franklin Morales.
In the first inning, Jones followed Nick Swisher's three-run homer by lining a 3-and-2 pitch into the seats on top of the Monster for a 4-0 lead. Jones led off the fourth with a high fly into the first row of seats atop the Monster, and that was followed by a homer by Jayson Nix that went completely out of the stadium for a 6-0 lead.
If Jones had played his whole career in Boston, he might have passed 500 homers long ago because his righthanded pull stroke is tailored for Fenway. "That wall looks really close, so you might get a little pull-friendly," he said. "But if you stay up the middle, a little mistake and you can get an easy homer. The 3-2, I was just trying to hit the ball hard. I had a good swing, and it went out. The second home run, I missed it and was lucky to be playing here, and it went out."
That was a good day's work right there, but Jones made two defensive plays Saturday that reminded folks he won 10 straight Gold Gloves from 1998-2007.
In Game 2, Jones dived to his right to make a backhand catch, robbing Ryan Sweeney of a potential RBI double.
In Game 1, David Ortiz was on first with a walk when Adrian Gonzalez hit a fly that seemed destined to bounce off the wall. But Jones leaped and came down with it after making contact with the wall. His relay went to second baseman Robinson Cano, who doubled Ortiz off first with a high throw that Mark Teixeira pulled in acrobatically.
"I thought when he hit it that it was going to be off the wall, but I made the right call to just go at it and it came right down where I can leap and catch it," Jones said. "I didn't hit it [the wall] hard [this time]."
Didn't even leave a dent.