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Jonny Gomes on setting tone in opener: ‘We know the tone’

03.31.14 at 2:38 am ET
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BALTIMORE — With the Red Sox opening their 2014 regular season Monday, Jonny Gomes was asked to reflect back on the importance of the team’€™s previous Opening Day.

On that day — April 1, 2013 — the Sox kicked off what would ultimately be a world championship run with an 8-2 win over the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.

Coming off a disastrous 69-win season in 2012, the game meant more than just one of 162. According to Gomes, it was a feeling that paved the way for the team’€™s confidence heading into Monday.

“I think this year is a smidge different,” the outfielder said. “Last year we wanted to set the tone, and we do want to set the tone again but we know what the tone sounds like. We know the tone.

“I think it’€™s a positive we have a smidge of a head-start than we did last year. It’€™s not as much setting the tone as continuing the tone that was set.”

Just about everything that the Red Sox hoped to accomplish in that game in New York came to fruition for John Farrell‘€™s team.

Jon Lester pitched a solid five innings, the top of the Red Sox order (Jacoby Ellsbury, Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia) combined for seven hits, the bullpen combined for four innings of one-hit ball, and Gomes helped supply an aggressiveness on the basepaths, scoring from second on an infield hit.

Next thing they knew, they had won 20 of their first 28 games.

“Jonny Gomes scoring from second base was an extension of what we worked on a lot in spring training, and that’s how important baserunning is to us,” Farrell said. “If there are situations that start [Monday] and call for that, I’m hopeful and confident that we’ll respond as we’ve drilled daily in spring training.”

“It’€™s what we needed. But we just got thrown right to the wolves. Red Sox-Yankees rivalry, at their place, not ours, CC [Sabathia], the best of the best, and we fired on all aspects of the game,” Gomes said. “We pitched, we ran and we played defense. We set the bar high, so we wanted to continue that. We didn’t want to look back and say, ‘We wish we would play like we did Opening Day.’ I think the main thing is just tempo and energy. It’€™s just carrying over from last year.”

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