BOSTON — Baseball returned to Fenway Park with a vengeance Monday.
The Red Sox’s home opener against the Baltimore Orioles was exactly what you’d expect from an American League East battle. The teams’ potent lineups struck early, taking starting pitchers David Price and Yovani Gallardo out of the picture after just five innings.
In the end, it was the Orioles who prevailed. First baseman Chris Davis took Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel deep for a three-run home run in the ninth inning as the Orioles won 9-7.
GAME IN A WORD
Neither team was going to give this one up easily. The Red Sox attacked for three runs in the first inning, but the Orioles charged back in the third inning with five runs of their own. Boston tied it up in the fourth, and both teams traded runs in the sixth to keep things knotted at 6-6 until Davis went yard in the ninth.
IT WAS OVER WHEN …
It’s tough to get yourself out of a three-run hole. Despite the Red Sox’s attempt to rally in the bottom of the ninth inning, Boston just couldn’t overcome the deficit.
ON THE BUMP
— Well, it definitely wasn’t the best day for Price.
The left-hander entered Monday’s game having never given up more than three runs at Fenway Park, but he gave up five in the third inning alone, thanks in part to a three-run homer by Mark Trumbo. Price was done after five innings, having thrown 103 pitches. He surrendered five hits, five runs and two walks while striking out eight.
— Matt Barnes didn’t help much in relief. He started the sixth inning by giving up two straight doubles on just four pitches to put the Orioles ahead 6-5.
— Junichi Tazawa came on in the seventh inning and threw 10 pitches. He struck out two.
— Koji Uehara mowed down Matt Wieters and J.J. Hardy before Jonathan Schoop flied out to end the eighth inning.
— Kimbrel had a rough outing, walking a batter and giving up the go-ahead home run to Davis. He had two strikeouts amid the shakiness.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Mookie Betts found his swing again after a rough stretch on the road. The right fielder went 3-for-5 with two runs, two RBIs and a solo shot in the ninth.
— Dustin Pedroia went 2-for-5 with a run and Xander Bogaerts went 1-for-4 with a run, a walk and an RBI out of the Nos. 2 and 3 spots in the lineup, respectively.
— David Ortiz went 2-for-5 with an RBI single and a double, both off the Green Monster.
— Hanley Ramirez went 0-for-3, but he did have an RBI from a sacrifice fly in the first inning. He reached second on an error in the third and was intentionally walked in the seventh.
— Brock Holt had a funky batting line, too, going 0-for-2 with two runs and two walks.
— Blake Swihart had a nice day at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a run. Jackie Bradley Jr. went 1-for-4 with two RBIs.
— Chris Young pinch-hit for Travis Shaw in the sixth. Both of them went 0-for-2.
TWEET OF THE DAY
Where do we sign?
The Red Sox stay at Fenway on Tuesday for the middle game of their series against the Orioles. They’ll send Clay Buchholz to the mound to face Mike Wright. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Apr 11, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis (19) hits a three run homer against the Boston Red Sox in the ninth inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports