PHILADELPHIA — The Red Sox stressed the importance of winning each series in 2013. It was a productive goal, as Boston won 97 regular-season games en route to a World Series title.
Boston is on the right track to begin the 2015 season. The Red Sox defeated the Phillies 6-2 on Thursday to take two of three from Philadelphia in the teams’ season-opening series at Citizens Bank Park.
GAME IN A WORD
Xander Bogaerts turned down the volume on any concerns that might have cropped up regarding his start to the season. The 22-year-old looked more comfortable at the plate in a three-hit, three-RBI performance that spearheaded Boston’s offense.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Bogaerts cleared the bases in the third inning with a bloop triple up the right field line.
David Buchanan retired Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia to begin the third, but the wheels came off from there, as the Red Sox scored six runs to grab a commanding lead.
David Ortiz singled to the right side, and Hanley Ramirez followed with a comebacker that Buchanan picked up and fired into the crowd after slapping a glove on it. Pablo Sandoval packed the bags with a walk.
Shane Victorino’s infield single put Boston on the scoreboard and Ryan Hanigan’s bases-loaded walk made it 2-0.
Bogaerts broke the game open with a flair that scooted past right fielder Jeff Francoeur, who coincidentally delivered the big blow Wednesday in the Phillies’ 4-2 win.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Bogaerts reached base five times (triple, two singles, walk, reached on an error).
— Victorino made some things happen at the dish. He singled twice, knocked in a run and scored a run.
— Ramirez looks like he’s going to hit the ball to Pluto every time he swings.
Ramirez is making extremely hard contact nearly every at-bat. He almost took shortstop Freddy Galvis’ glove off in the first inning with a line drive single to the left side.
— Sandoval showed some opposite-field pop in the fourth inning.
The slugger, batting left-handed, hit a ball to left field that definitely would have dented the Green Monster had the game been played at Fenway Park.
— Justin Masterson — yes, the pitcher — recorded his first career multihit game.
Masterson delivered an RBI single in the third inning. He added an infield single in the fifth inning, as third baseman Cody Asche knocked down Masterson’s sharply hit ball but couldn’t record an out.
ON THE BUMP
— Masterson’s first regular-season start for the Red Sox since 2009 went very well.
While Masterson missed with some pitches, he still allowed just two earned runs on three hits over six innings. He struck out seven, walked two and threw 95 pitches (64 strikes).
The most encouraging aspect of Masterson’s performance was his ability to keep the ball on the ground. He generated seven ground ball outs.
— Craig Breslow, Tommy Layne and Edward Mujica each worked a scoreless inning.
TWEET OF THE GAME
This has nothing to do with the game, but it’s too good to let slip through the cracks. God bless America.
Jon Lester (@JLester34) April 10, 2015
The Red Sox will travel to New York for three games against the Yankees starting Friday night. Wade Miley will make his Red Sox debut in the series opener. He’ll face Nathan Eovaldi.
Catcher Sandy Leon is expected to make his Red Sox debut Friday, too, as manager John Farrell indicated before the game that Ryan Hanigan will receive the night off after catching all three games against the Phillies.
Thumbnail photo via Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports Images