Leone lives his dream at Fenway
BOSTON – Mariners rookie reliever Dominic Leone grew up in Norwich, Conn., about a 90-minute drive from Fenway Park, and had about 15 family members in attendance when he picked up the win in his first appearance at the historic stadium in Friday’s 5-3 win over the Red Sox.
Leone pitched a scoreless eighth for Seattle, then saw his record bumped to 6-2 on the year when the Mariners rallied for five runs in the ninth.
“It was special,” Leone said. “It was awesome to run out, especially when they’re playing Sweet Caroline. It was a moment I’ll never forget. And to pull out the win at the end was huge.
“I came to tons of game here as a kid,” he said. “And every time was awesome. It’s why this is Fenway Park. People have those type of memories.”
Leone has a very personal memory now as the 22-year-old induced Dustin Pedroia into a ground out, walked David Ortiz and then struck out Yoenis Cespedes and Allen Craig. He admits his heart was pumping a little extra trotting out for his 45th appearance of the season.
“Especially facing the middle of their lineup, guys I was just watching a few years ago,” he said. “It was extra motivation knowing there was some family in the stands and I wanted to put on a good show for them. It was just a great night.”
Capped off, of course, by one of the more dramatic finishes in club history with five runs in the ninth.
“Hats off to those guys,” Leone said. “Endy with a great at-bat. Dino with a little bloop. LoMo starting it off. Ack rounding third. It was just an all-around great effort by those guys. I get the ‘W’ in the books, but it’s those guys who took it home.”