Here’s the good news: In 2018, the Boston Red Sox lost their season opener and went on to win the World Series.
With that in mind, the 2019 Red Sox got dusted on Opening Day, falling to the Seattle Mariners 12-4 on Thursday at T-Mobile Park.
Sox ace Chris Sale got off to a good start in the first inning, but proceeded to fall apart, getting tagged for seven runs over three innings.
The Red Sox fell to 0-1 with the loss, while the Mariners climbed to 3-0 with the win.
Here’s how it went down:
GAME IN A WORD
The ace getting shellacked en route to a blowout loss is, well, not an ideal way to start the season.
ON THE BUMP
— It was not a great night for Sale. The Sox’s left-hander lasted just three innings, allowing seven runs (all earned) on six hits with two walks, four strikeouts and three home runs.
Initially, Sale picked up right where he left off last season, striking out the first two batters he faced. After Rafael Devers misplayed a ground ball that allowed Edwin Encarnación to reach base, Sale struck out Jay Bruce to end the first.
The southpaw did wander into some trouble in the second inning though, beginning with a one-out, 430-foot solo shot by Tim Beckham to cut Boston’s lead to 2-1.
Later in the frame with two outs, Sale allowed a walk, single and hit a batter to load the bases. Domingo Santana roped a double down the right field line, bringing in two runs. Mitch Haniger tried to score from first but was thrown out to end the inning, despite the Mariners challenging the tag at home. Still, the damage had been done, as Seattle led 3-2 after two.
Sale struggled mightily in the third as well, with Encarnación kicking the inning off with a dinger to center field.
Sale later issued a one-out walk, then Beckham cleared the bases with his second homer of the game, upping the Mariners’ lead to 6-2.
Mallex Smith tripled to right the next at-bat, then came home on a David Freitas sac fly before the inning ended.
— Hector Velazquez took over in the top of the fourth inning and tossed 2 1/3 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits with a pair of strikeouts.
In his first inning of work, Velazquez gave up a single and struck out one in a scoreless frame. However, the righty surrendered a homer to Ryon Healy to begin the fifth inning, which extended the Mariners’ lead to 8-2.
The right-hander got one out in the sixth before loading the bases, which got him pulled.
— Heath Hembree relieved Velazquez and immediately allowed a run by walking Bruce on four pitches. Two batters later with two outs, Beckham hit a chopper up the middle that Eduardo Nunez couldn’t handle, which allowed the Mariners to make it 10-4.
— Tyler Thornburg handled the seventh.
The righty got the first two hitters to fly out and strike out, respectively, but he then allowed Haniger to double and Santana to homer (making it 12-4) before getting out of the inning.
— Brian Johnson walked and struck out one in a hitless, scoreless eighth.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Much like Sale, the Red Sox’s offense picked up where they left off last season, scoring a run in each of the first two innings.
Mookie Betts blooped a one-out single to right in the first, then moved to second on a Devers line-drive single the next at-bat. J.D. Martinez cut on a first-pitch breaking ball and connected, bringing Betts home for the game’s first run.
— In the second inning Nunez reached on a fielding error by Bruce before Jackie Bradley Jr. singled to center. Nunez and Bradley executed an aggressive double steal to get into scoring position. That allowed Andrew Benintendi to hit a one-out sacrifice fly to shallow left, which was tracked down by Seattle third baseman Healy. Though it wasn’t hit deep, Nunez used some heads-up baserunning to charge home and put the Sox up 2-0 knowing it would be tough for Healy to turn and make the throw home.
— Trailing 8-2 in the top of the sixth, the Sox cut the lead in half.
Nunez kicked off the inning with a double, then scored two batters later on a one-out two-bagger by Christian Vazquez. Benintendi then smacked a single to plate Vazquez, trimming Boston’s deficit to 8-4.
— Betts had three hits, while Martinez had two.
— Benintendi, Devers, Xander Bogaerts, Nunez, Bradley and Vazquez all had one hit, with Benintendi driving in two runs.
— Mitch Moreland was the lone Red Sox batter to go hitless.
TWEET OF THE DAY
The Red Sox and Mariners will play the second contest of their four-game series Friday night. First pitch from T-Mobile Park is set for 10:10 p.m. ET.