Final, Red Sox 3-1: Adam Jones ended the Red Sox’ quest for a shutout and the Orioles brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning, but Joel Hanrahan still managed to close the door on Boston’s home opener win.
The Red Sox have now won nine straight home openers. That extends the longest streak in club history, and it’s the longest active streak among all major league teams.
All of the Boston’s offense on Monday was supplied by Daniel Nava’s three-run home run in the seventh inning. It was Nava’s second home run of the season — he also went deep on Sunday — and he’s really starting to carve out an important role with the Red Sox.
Clay Buchholz tossed seven shutout frames to earn the win. He allowed just three hits, walked four and struck out eight.
The Red Sox will be off on Tuesday, and then return to action against the O’s on Wednesday. Ryan Dempster will get the start in that game, which kicks off at 7:10 p.m. ET.
Good night, everyone.
End 8th, Red Sox 3-0: Tommy Hunter, who replaced Wei-Yin Chen in the seventh inning, came back out to pitch the eighth.
He retired the side in order, and now Joel Hanrahan will look to close out the O’s in the ninth.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 3-0: Andrew Bailey is adapting well to his new setup role.
Bailey retired the side in order in the eighth inning, and the Red Sox are three outs away from recording their ninth straight home opener victory.
Bailey struck out Nate McLouth and Manny Machado to begin the eighth. He dialed it up to 95 mph to get McLouth looking, and he then got Machado to fan on some offspeed stuff.
Nick Markakis flew out to center field to end the inning.
End 7th, Red Sox 3-0: Wei-Yin Chen cruised through the first six innings, but the seventh proved to be problematic for the Orioles starter.
Chen departed after giving up a three-run bomb to Daniel Nava.
Dustin Pedroia led off the seventh with an infield single on a ball up the middle. Mike Napoli then smoked a double into left-center field (the ball landed around the base of the wall). Pedroia took a wide turn around third base, but he then threw on the breaks, setting up runners at second and third for Nava.
Nava turned on a 1-1 offering from Chen, and blasted it over everything in left field. It’s Nava’s second home run of the season, as he also went deep in Sunday’s route.
Clay Buchholz is now in line to earn the win if the Boston bullpen can close the door in the final two innings. Andrew Bailey will pitch the eighth for the Sox.
Mid 7th, 0-0: Clay Buchholz is up to 113 pitches, so his day is likely done. The right-hander was tremendous, though.
Buchholz picked up two strikeouts in the top of the seventh after issuing a leadoff walk to Matt Wieters. The first victim was J.J. Hardy, and the second was Steve Pearce, whose halfhearted wave at an outside fastball ended the inning.
Buchholz allowed just three hits in seven innings. He did walk four, but he also racked up eight K’s.
Koji Uehara has been warming up in the Red Sox’ bullpen, so there’s a good chance we’ll see him in the eighth. Maybe the Sox can finally muster up some offense beforehand, though, and help get Buchholz a victory. As of now, Buchholz is in line for a no decision if he exits.
End 6th, 0-0: We’ve got a pitchers’ duel brewing.
Wei-Yin Chen was once again sharp in the sixth inning. He quickly worked his way through the Boston order, and we’re still scoreless at Fenway.
Jose Iglesias bounced out to his counterpart at shortstop for the first out. Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino each flew out to center field to end the inning.
Chen has surrendered just two hits and two walks in this game. He has thrown 87 pitches (56 strikes) thus far.
Mid 6th, 0-0: Clay Buchholz continues to cruise along. In fact, he looks to be getting stronger.
Buchholz enjoyed his first 1-2-3 inning of the game in the sixth. He got Nick Markakis to ground out to first and Adam Jones to line out sharply to right field before capping off the inning with a strikeout of Chris Davis.
Davis had worked two walks before his sixth-inning at-bat, but Buchholz was much more aggressive after falling behind 2-0 in the AB. He got the hot-hitting slugger looking with a 94 mph fastball to record the K.
Buchholz has six strikeouts through six innings. He’s thrown 90 pitches thus far.
End 5th, 0-0: Clay Buchholz has pitched well for Boston, but Wei-Yin Chen has been equally as impressive for Baltimore.
Chen gave up a single to Daniel Nava, who has now reached safely twice in this game, but he once again limited the threat. Chen struck out both Will Middlebrooks and Jonny Gomes in the fifth inning while keeping the Red Sox off the scoreboard.
David Ross grounded out to end the frame.
Mid 5th, 0-0: Clay Buchholz hasn’t had a 1-2-3 inning yet in this game, but he has kept the Orioles off the scoreboard through five innings.
Ryan Flaherty started the inning by grounding out to Mike Napoli, and Buchholz fanned Steve Pearce for out No. 2. Nate McLouth would reach, though, after Buchholz had some trouble locating his fastball.
Buchholz fell behind 3-0 to McLouth before battling back to get to 3-2. He then missed with a 93-mph fastball, and McLouth reached for the second time.
Buchholz ensured the walk didn’t hurt him by getting Manny Machado to fly out to right field. Buchholz is up to 76 pitches thus far.
End 4th, 0-0: Shane Victorino gave the Red Sox their first hit of the game in the fourth inning, but he was then caught stealing, which killed any potential threat.
Victorino lined a base hit into left-center, and he was later gunned down at second with Dustin Pedroia batting. Pedroia would eventually earn a walk after Victorino’s caught stealing, but Wei-Yin Chen got Mike Napoli to ground into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
Clay Buchholz has pitched well for Boston thus far, but the Red Sox’ bats have been quiet. Clearly, Sunday’s offensive momentum hasn’t carried over.
Mid 4th, 0-0: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
That’s good advice for the kids out there, and Dustin Pedroia used the mindset to his advantage in the fourth inning.
Chris Davis earned his second walk of the game to lead off the inning. Matt Wieters then hit a ball right at Pedroia, who looked to spin a double play. Pedroia bobbled the ball, however, and he had to hurry just to record one out at second base.
While the force out made life a little bit more difficult, the Red Sox would enjoy a double play moments later when J.J. Hardy also grounded to Pedroia.
End 3rd, 0-0: Nate McLouth was a busy man in the third inning.
David Ross, Jose Iglesias and Jacoby Ellsbury each flew out to the Orioles left fielder, making for an easy inning for Wei-Yin Chen.
Clay Buchholz now heads back to work having thrown 51 pitches (30 strikes) thus far.
Mid 3rd, 0-0: Clay Buchholz got two quick outs in the third inning, but back-to-back singles threatened to break the scoreless tie. In the end, though, Buchholz buckled down to strand the two runners.
The inning started with Steve Pearce grounding out to Will Middlebrooks at third. Buchholz then struck out Nate McLouth looking with a fastball on the outside corner.
Manny Machado singled into center field, and Nick Markakis ripped a hot shot past Middlebrooks to put runners at first and second.
While the hits made for a few tense moments, Buchholz bounced back to strike out Adam Jones.
End 2nd, 0-0: Daniel Nava continues to put together good at-bats. He worked a two-out walk in the second inning. Unfortunately for the Sox, they couldn’t do anything with it.
Wei-Yin Chen started the inning by getting Mike Napoli to fly out to center. Napoli hit it right on the screws, but it was lined right at Adam Jones, who barely had to move to make the catch.
Will Middlebrooks was the next to take his cuts, and he received a loud ovation. Something tells me his three bombs on Sunday has something to do with that. Middlebrooks has four home runs total this season, which is actually more than eight major league teams as of Monday’s first pitch.
Middlebrooks didn’t fare so well this time around. He flew out to Nick Markakis in right field for the second out.
Nava’s walk was followed up by a pop out by Jonny Gomes. Gomes actually strung together a nice AB by fouling off a number of pitches, but Chen got him to pop up a fastball on the 10th pitch of the at-bat.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: Clay Buchholz again allowed the leadoff man to reach, but again he worked around the blemish.
Buchholz issued a walk to Chris Davis to begin the second inning. He retired the next three hitters, though, including two via strikeouts.
Matt Wieters followed up Davis’ walk by lifting a fly ball deep to right field. Shane Victorino had it sized up all the way, and he made the grab at the edge of the warning track.
Buchholz then struck out J.J. Hardy and Ryan Flaherty. Buchholz froze Hardy with a fastball on the outside corner, and he got Flaherty to foul tip a fastball into the mitt of catcher David Ross.
End 1st, 0-0: The Orioles played some nice defense in the first inning, and it allowed Wei-Yin Chen to work a 1-2-3 frame.
Jacoby Ellsbury led off by popping out to second base. That was routine, but there was nothing routine about the next out.
Shane Victorino — who stepped up to the plate to “Buffalo Solider,” for all you scoring at home — hit a rocket down to third base. Manny Machado made a great, leaping grab to possibly rob Victorino of an extra-base hit.
Dustin Pedroia ended the inning with a sharp comebacker that Chen nabbed.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Clay Buchholz gave up a leadoff single, but it was then smooth sailing from there.
Buchholz got ahead of Nate McLouth, but Baltimore’s leadoff man eventually singled into center field.
Buchholz checked on McLouth over at first a few times, but the right-hander didn’t led the leadoff hit linger in his mind too much. Buchholz retired the next three hitters he faced.
Manny Machado popped out to Mike Napoli in foul territory, and Nick Markakis and Adam Jones then flew out. The sun is certainly bright at game time, and that was evident on the popup, as Napoli really had to shield his eyes.
2:08 p.m.: Clay Buchholz’s first pitch is fouled off by Nate McLouth, and we’re under way at Fenway.
2:05 p.m.: It’s always awesome to see some old faces on Opening Day. A number of Red Sox legends caught the ceremonial first pitch, which was delivered by several Jimmy Fund patients.
Earlier in the day, Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield were spotted in the Red Sox’ clubhouse.
1:55 p.m.: Flyovers = Awesome.
1:45 p.m.: John Lackey’s status still remains a little unclear, but the news surrounding the right-hander is very encouraging.
John Farrell said before the game that Lackey is in the midst of a 48-to-72 hour recovery period, and that the MRI Lackey underwent on Sunday revealed some inflammation in his bicep. The good news is that no structural damage was detected.
It’s unlikely Lackey will be available for his next scheduled start, but Farrell said that he’s not at a point where a DL stint is guaranteed. That’s surprising considering how serious Lackey’s injury initially looked.
When Lackey stumbled off the mound on Saturday, it was fair to assume the worst. Fortunately for the Sox, it doesn’t sound like the veteran will be sidelined very long, though.
1:05 p.m.: We’re about an hour away from the first pitch thrown at Fenway Park this season, and you can definitely sense the excitement around the ballpark. I guess that’s what happens when the Sox return home on a positive note.
The Sox enter Monday’s game having won their last eight home openers, dating back to 2005. It’s the longest home opener winning streak in club history, and it’s the longest active streak in the bigs.
Manager John Farrell sounds excited to be back. Obviously, this isn’t his first rodeo at Fenway Park, but he said before the game that he never envisioned while he was Boston’s pitching coach that he’d someday return to Fenway as Red Sox manager. That’s mainly because the Red Sox were enjoying so much success under Terry Francona at the time.
11:43 a.m.: Jackie Bradley Jr. is hitting just .143 (3-for-21) to begin the season, so manager John Farrell has decided to give the rookie the day off with a left-hander on the hill.
Farrell instead is turning to Daniel Nava to play left field. Nava, who went deep in Sunday’s blowout victory, will bat sixth.
Jonny Gomes will serve as the Red Sox’ DH on Monday, while David Ross will get the start behind the plate.
The rest of Monday’s lineups are below.
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Mike Napoli, 1B
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Daniel Nava, LF
Jonny Gomes, DH
David Ross, C
Jose Iglesias, SS
Clay Buchholz, P
Nate McLouth, LF
Manny Machado, 3B
Nick Markakis, RF
Adam Jones, CF
Chris Davis, 1B
Matt Wieters, C
J.J. Hardy, SS
Ryan Flaherty, 2B
Steve Pearce, DH
Wei-Yin Chen, P
8 a.m. ET: We’re already six games into the new baseball season, but Monday is when it’ll really start to sink in.
The Red Sox will finally begin their 2013 home schedule, and there’s just something so right about baseball at Fenway Park. This season’s home opener is even more exciting in the Boston area because the hometown club enters the game on the heels of a solid road trip to begin the year.
The Sox went 4-2 during their trip, which took them to the Bronx and then up to Toronto. They capped off the journey with a 13-0 blowout win over the Blue Jays on Sunday. Will Middlebrooks went deep three times as part of Boston’s six home run attack, and Jon Lester looked very much like the ace Boston needs him to be this season.
The Red Sox will now have to deal with a third AL East foe on Monday. They’ll host the Orioles, who enter the contest with a 3-3 record and swinging some hot bats.
Clay Buchholz will get the start for Boston. His first pitch is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. ET, and NESN’s coverage will start up at noon ET. Be sure to tune in, and also keep it right here.
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