Red Sox mark special Marathon Monday at Fenway

Red Sox mark special Marathon Monday at Fenway

BOSTON -- Even with cloudy skies and rain overhead, the Red Sox were still able to produce a fitting tribute on Monday for Patriots' Day.

Before the Red Sox took the field against the Orioles for their traditional 11:05 a.m. ET start time, Boston police officer Stephen McNulty belted a stirring rendition of the national anthem. Four-time Boston Marathon winner Bill Rodgers then threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

The game continues to have an important significance for the city and region after the Marathon bombings in 2013.

Runner Bill Rodgers' first pitch

In the days leading up to Patriots' Day, the Red Sox included survivor Jane Richard and father/son duo Dick and Rick Hoyt during pregame festivities.

A sell-out crowd of 36,829 saw the Red Sox beat the Orioles, 7-1, in a rain-shortened, seven-inning contest.

While rain coats were worn by most fans who braved the 43-degree weather at game time, "Boston Strong" T-shirts were scattered throughout the crowd.

The rain got heavier throughout the game before the tarp was rolled out during the seventh-inning stretch. As the grounds crew began to unfold the tarp, Steve O'Brien of the Barnstable, Mass., Police Department came out to sing God Bless America.

God Bless America at Fenway

Play never resumed after that, cut short after a one-hour, 25-minute rain delay.

Even with unfavorable conditions, Justin Masterson was able to pitch a solid five frames, allowing one run on three hits for the win. It marked his second Patriots' Day start, the last coming on April 20, 2009, against the Orioles.

While Masterson dealt with wet conditions through five innings, he joked after the game that it was nothing compared to what the runners were going through.

"The way it looked on television, it looks like it's pretty simple. I don't think it is even a comparison," Masterson said. "Never in my life would I want to run that far. I'm amazed by the people that can do that."

The right-hander had to adjust his routine with an earlier start time, but Masterson and everyone else on the Red Sox didn't mind.

"It is definitely different. The only exposure you get to morning games is in Spring Training, which might take place at 10 a.m.," manager John Farrell said. "When you understand the significance of Patriots' Day to the region, it's an appropriate start time."

Catcher Ryan Hanigan, an Andover, Mass., native, was excited to play in his first Patriots' Day game.

"It was fun. It is a big day for the state. A lot of history, a lot of pride," Hanigan said. "We want to get a win on a day like today. The energy today was awesome."

Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter at @qlr5001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.