PHILADELPHIA — What a difference two days make.
The Boston Red Sox were a runaway freight train Monday, rolling right through the Philadelphia Phillies for an 8-0 win on Opening Day. On Wednesday, the train came to a screeching halt, as the Red Sox’s offense struggled for much of the contest en route to a 4-2 loss at Citizens Bank Park.
GAME IN A WORD
The Red Sox’s offense looked like Murderers’ Row on Opening Day. Two days later, Phillies starter Aaron Harang stymied the unit.
Harang tossed 6 1/3 shutout innings in which he allowed just two hits. He struck out eight and walked one.
Boston made some noise in the later innings, but Philadelphia’s bullpen did enough to hang on and the Red Sox’s potent offense received a little bit of a gut check.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Hanley Ramirez missed a go-ahead grand slam by about three feet in the eighth inning. It would have been Ramirez’s second grand slam in as many games.
Phillies closer (and ex-Red Sox) Jonathan Papelbon entered with two outs in the eighth after Boston made things interesting against an erratic Ken Giles. Ramirez crushed a ball to the warning track in left field that probably would have left the yard any other night. The wind knocked it down and Ben Revere caught it on the warning track.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Pablo Sandoval, who went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts on Opening Day, reached base three times (two singles, walk).
— Xander Bogaerts smoked a line-drive single down the left field line in the eighth. It scored Daniel Nava, who reached on an error by first baseman Darin Ruf to begin the inning.
— David Ortiz pinch-hit for pitcher Robbie Ross Jr. in the eighth with no outs and two men on base. He struck out against a hard-throwing, albeit wild, Giles.
— Dustin Pedroia walked twice.
— Mookie Betts went 0-for-4 atop the order. Maybe he is human.
— Mike Napoli also went 0-for-4 in his first start of 2015.
ON THE BUMP
— Rick Porcello made one big mistake in an otherwise solid outing.
Porcello issued a walk and yielded a single with one out in the sixth. He then hung a 1-1 slider that Jeff Francoeur lifted over the fence in left-center field.
Porcello, who escaped trouble in the fifth with a key punchout of Chase Utley, allowed three earned runs on six hits over six innings. He struck out four, walked two and threw 101 pitches (64 strikes).
— Ross, who cracked Boston’s Opening Day roster despite a slow start to spring training, allowed an unearned run in the seventh.
Sandoval fired an errant throw to first base that allowed Revere to scamper all the way to third base. Utley knocked him in with a sacrifice fly to the warning track in right field.
Ross struck out Carlos Ruiz swinging and Ryan Howard looking in the inning.
— Alexi Ogando struck out one in a perfect eighth inning.
TWEET OF THE GAME
Don’t worry, you guys. I’m OK.
Thank goodness Phillies finally got Giles out of there. I was getting worried his next pitch would plunk @TheRickyDoyle—
Ben Watanabe (@BenjeeBallgame) April 09, 2015
The Red Sox will play one more game against the Phillies on Thursday before departing for New York for a three-game series against the Yankees. Justin Masterson is scheduled to face David Buchanan in Thursday’s series finale at The Bank.
Thumbnail photo via Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports Images