Boston’s bats, which were scorching in Monday’s season opener, went ice cold as the temperature dropped significantly at Citizens Bank Park. The Red Sox managed just three hits in a 4-2 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on a wet and windy night at the yard.
Let’s run down some additional notes from Wednesday.
— Shane Victorino was not in the starting lineup. Daniel Nava instead received the start in right field against right-hander Aaron Harang.
Victorino said before the game he felt great physically despite running into the wall Monday after making a catch on the warning track.
Red Sox manager John Farrell said Victorino’s absence was in part because of the weather. Boston doesn’t want to take any chances early on with Victorino still working his way toward 100 percent health.
— Steven Wright will start Saturday’s game against the New York Yankees. Joe Kelly (biceps) will start a minor league game that day with Single-A Greenville.
Koji Uehara (hamstring) will pitch out of the bullpen for Greenville on Saturday.
— Farrell said before the game he’s given no thought to batting the pitcher in a spot in the order other than ninth during interleague play.
Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon batted Jon Lester eighth in the team’s season opener Sunday.
— Farrell was asked about Rick Porcello’s four-year contract extension reportedly worth $82.5 million.
“We’re talking about a free agent-to-be at 26 years old who’s pitched 200 innings, that’s evolving in his own right to be an upper echelon type of starter,” Farrell said before Porcello’s Red Sox debut. “It’s clearly a commitment on our ownership’s part. It’s also betting on a guy that we’ve grown to have a pretty good understanding in the two months that he’s been here, even though he hasn’t thrown a pitch yet.
“You bet on the individual when you make these kind of investments. Rick is very detail-oriented and he’s committed to his own personal routine to prepare each and every day. And the fact he’s going to be pitching this season at 26 years of age, the five years we’re going to get him ideally at the prime of his major league career given the age and what all information would suggest with guys of that age group.”
— Jeff Francoeur’s three-run homer in the sixth inning — a product of Porcello’s “one big mistake” — was his first home run since June 16, 2013 (a span of 106 plate appearances).
— The Red Sox’s defense was a mixed bag.
Dustin Pedroia and Xander Bogaerts made a couple of nice plays, but Boston also committed two costly errors.
Pedroia skipped a throw to first base in the fourth inning after making a diving stop. Pablo Sandoval made a throwing error in the seventh inning that paved the way for Philadelphia’s fourth run.
— Sandoval, who had a disappointing Red Sox debut while batting right-handed against lefty Cole Hamels, looked much more comfortable at the plate while batting left-handed versus righty Aaron Harang.
Sandoval collected his first two hits in a Red Sox uniform (both singles) and forced in a run with a bases-loaded walk. The third baseman was 0-for-5 with three strikeouts Monday in his Red Sox debut.
— Xander Bogaerts was the only other Red Sox player with a hit. He had looked overmatched until lining an RBI single down the left field line in the eighth inning.
— Jonathan Papelbon’s four-out save marked the 37th time in his career he pitched more than one inning to record a save. Papelbon, who has 107 saves in a Phillies uniform, is five saves shy of tying Jose Mesa’s franchise record (112).
Papelbon is now 4-for-4 in save opportunities against his former team.
Thumbnail photo via Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports Images
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