BOSTON — While the Red Sox tried their best to put together both a rally in the eighth and ninth innings , Boston was doomed much earlier on in their Opening Day matchup against the Baltimore Orioles, falling 10-9 at Fenway Park.
Boston starts its season 0-1 while Baltimore is 1-0.
You can check out the full box score here.
ONE BIG TAKEAWAY
The Red Sox will need far more from their pitching staff than they received Thursday. Boston’s staff allowed 10 earned runs on 15 hits with nine walks, putting the Red Sox in both an 8-2 and a 10-4 hole.
Boston’s issues started early as Corey Kluber allowed a solo home run to the second batter of the game, Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman. Kluber proceeded to struggle with his command — typically his biggest asset — as he threw just 48 of his 80 pitches for strikes. The veteran right-hander didn’t make it through four innings in his first start for the Red Sox as he was pulled after allowing six hits with four walks. Of note, Kluber walked four batters just once during each of the past two seasons.
Boston’s starting pitching, however, wasn’t its only issue. The middle relief of Zack Kelly and Ryan Brasier didn’t provide any, well, relief. Kelly inherited a bases loaded situation from Kluber and proceeded to allow a runner to score on a wild pitch before a bases-loaded walk. Brasier then came on for the fifth inning and allowed three runs on two hits, two walks and one hit batter.
Their contributions through five combined innings allowed the Orioles to take an 8-2 advantage after the trio threw merely 76 of their 137 pitches for strikes (55.5%).
While Boston had a respectable day at the plate (nine runs on 11 hits and three walks), the Red Sox bats weren’t able to overcome their pitching struggles.
STARS OF THE GAME
— Rutschman recorded five hits (!) and one walk in his six plate appearances. The 25-year-old catcher finished with four RBIs and one run scored, including a two-run single in the fifth inning.
— Rafael Devers (2-for-5) finished with two runs and one RBI and made heads-up play for the defense in the third inning. Devers hustled down a single to short left field and threw out Rutschman trying to stretch his single into a double. Devers led off the fourth inning with a ground rule double and the sixth with a single to left field.
— Red Sox newcomer Masataka Yoshida (2-for-4, two RBIs, run) recorded his first career hit and first career RBI. Boston’s left fielder and clean up batter picked up an RBI single in the sixth inning to score Devers. Yoshida ultimately reached base three times as he also was hit by a pitch in the fourth frame.
Bettors who took Over 4.5 on Kluber’s strikeout total at FanDuel Sportsbook probably felt pretty good about themselves early on. After all, Kluber struck out two of the first three batters he faced with four strikeouts in two innings. However, the veteran right-hander struggled from there and was pulled after 3 1/3 innings. He finished with those same four strikeouts, cashing for those who took the Under (-146).
ON DECK AT NESN
The Red Sox will return to Fenway Park on Saturday for their second game of a three-game set against the Orioles. First pitch is set for 4:10 p.m. ET after an hour of pregame coverage, and you can watch it live on NESN.