The Boston Red Sox made a statement on Opening Day, defeating the Mariners in Seattle to earn a 6-4 victory to begin the 2024 season on a high note.

Young talent centers Boston’s outlook for the season, needing capable players to stay healthy and deliver consistently. That certainly applies to Brayan Bello, who will anchor the staff after receiving a six-year contract extension during spring training. The 24-year-old tossed five innings in his first Opening Day start, allowing just two runs and working around early traffic to earn the win.

“He was excellent,” Alex Cora told reporters after the game, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “He can be better. Command was off, but he was able to make pitches. … He had the ball tonight and he did enough.

“I feel like the first couple of innings, I was a little anxious,” Bello told reporters through translator Carlos Villoria, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “It was good to get out of the (first) inning after the two hits. That gave me extra motivation for the rest of the game.”

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As for the offense, the Red Sox will rely again on their big bats in the middle of the order. Rafael Devers rose to that challenge, smashing Boston’s first home run of the season with a two-run shot off of Seattle’s Luis Castillo to start the scoring. Boston’s franchise player lowered his hands in spring training as part of several adjustments to elevate his game in 2024. So far in the regular season, the results are paying off for Devers, who added a double later in the contest.

“I was thinking about that today,” Devers discussed through translator Carlos Villoria, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “Like I said before, everyone throws hard. I think that adjustment will help me throughout the season, for sure. Spring training is for that to get your work in and build your confidence up.

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“He made adjustments in the offseason,” Cora explained. “He had a disappointing season last year. He hit 30 (home runs) and drove in 100. That’s not enough for some people. I think he understands who he is in this lineup. He needs to make adjustments because the league is getting better. … He was able to drive the ball to left-center, something he didn’t do last year. That was home run was impressive.”

Further down the lineup, Ceddanne Rafaela got the start in center field and hit seventh after making the big-league team to begin the season. He rewarded the Red Sox for that chance, turning a double into a triple with a hustle effort in the sixth inning.

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Boston will need efforts like these throughout the season to compete. For now, the Red Sox got the start they needed to start the year.

“We’re 1-0,” Cora said.

Here are more notes from Thursday’s Red Sox-Mariners game:

— Devers hit the first Red Sox home run of the season. His two-run shot in the third inning was the second Opening Day home run of his career. The other homer came in the first inning on Opening Day at Yankee Stadium in 2022.

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— Tyler O’Neill now stands alone in baseball history as the only player with a home run on five consecutive Opening Days.

“It’s something about the routine for Opening Day, you just want to kick start the season,” O’Neill told Jahmai Webster after the win, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage.

— Cora earned his first Opening Day win in his sixth season as the manager of the Red Sox.

— Kenley Jansen earned the first save of the season and No. 421 of his MLB career. He trails Billy Wagner (422) by just one save for sixth-most all-time.

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— Jarren Duran stole his first base of the season in the ninth inning. After advancing to third base, Duran bounced more than two-thirds of the way down the line, putting himself in position to potentially steal home. He stayed put as Triston Casas struck out swinging with the outfielder in his peripheral vision.

“He was thinking about it,” Cora shared. “He asked me if he should have done it. I said, ‘If you had it, you had it.’ He understands it’s Triston at the plate with two strikes. Probably the next time, we’ll take advantage of it.”

— The Red Sox continue the four-game series in Seattle on Friday night. First pitch is set for 9:40 p.m. ET. You can catch the game, plus an hour of pregame coverage, on NESN.

Featured image via Stephen Brashear/USA TODAY Sports Images