|Pedrioa got the Red Sox off and running with his first inning blast (CBS Boston)|
The Red Sox scored all eight of their runs via the long ball, going yard five times in all. Dustin Pedroia ignited the scoring with a first inning solo shot into the left field bleachers that put Boston up 1-0. Mookie Betts, batting leadoff in his first Opening Day start, banged another solo shot in the third to double Boston's lead.
The Red Sox doubled their lead again in the fifth thanks to solo shots by Pedroia and Hanley Ramirez. Cole Hamels left after finishing the inning, having allowed four home runs in a game for the first time since April 23rd, 2010. Though Hamels allowed only five hits, four of them left the yard.
Meanwhile, Clay Buchholz was masterful in his first-ever Opening Day start, limiting the Phillies to just three hits through seven shutout innings. He carved up Philadelphia's feeble lineup, striking out nine against only one walk. The Red Sox are counting on a big comeback from their erstwhile ace, who was strafed for a 5.34 ERA last year, so yesterday's turn was certainly encouraging. It will be interesting to see how he performs against an American League team with a more formidable lineup.
The mighty Bosox weren't done scoring yet, either. With the game already well in hand, they doubled their lead one final time in the top of the ninth. After Phillies reliever Jake Diekman loaded the bases, Ramirez stepped up and lined a grand slam off the left field foul pole for his second bomb of the game. Welcome back, Hanley.
Yesterday's rout was a preview of what Boston's new-look lineup is capable of. The Red Sox are going to light up the scoreboard this year even on days like yesterday, when they didn't actually hit that well. The Sox were just 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and got next to nothing out of everyone not named Betts, Pedroia, or Ramirez.
But that trio, which accounted for seven of Boston's nine hits including all five of their home runs and all eight of their RBI, did more than enough to propel the Sox to victory. In light of Pedroia's recent power woes, it was especially encouraging to see Pedey enjoy his first multi-homer game since September 13th, 2011. It was also good to see him get his first dinger out of the way after going homerless in each of the past two Aprils. Hopefully yesterday was a sign that he is fully healthy and can drive the ball with authority again.
The Red Sox are back at it tomorrow night with the newly-extended Rick Porcello making his Boston debut. The Phillies will counter with Aaron Harang. Expect another turkey-shoot.