Monday, April 6, 2015

Hanley, Pedroia power up against Phillies

The Red Sox looked just fine without Cole Hamels in their rotation Monday in a convincing 8-0 victory over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
Dustin Pedroia homered twice and Mookie Betts and Hanley Ramirez each homered once in five innings against Hamels, who has been linked to the Red Sox in trade speculation since the offseason. Ramirez tied a bow on the afternoon when he hit a grand slam against Phillies left-hander Jake Diekmanin the ninth.
Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz looked every bit an ace against the Phillies. He allowed three hits in seven scoreless innings against the Phillies. He walked just one and struck out nine.
Pedroia's pop returns: Playing through a barrage of hand injuries, Dustin Pedroia's power went in decline for three straight years, culminating with seven in 2014. Healthy again, Pedroia looks ready to do some damage. The sparkplug second baseman clocked two homers on Opening Day against Hamels, the first coming on his first swing of the season.
Hamels' early struggles continue: Hamels is a slow starter, and his early-season troubles continued Monday. He allowed four solo home runs in five innings to take the loss. Hamels is 1-7 with a 5.13 ERA (30 earned runs in 52 2/3 innings) in 10 career games to start a season.
Buchholz looks like an ace: For months, the Red Sox have heard that they don't have an ace. Buchholz pitched like one on Monday, outdueling Hamels in the process. Buchholz has shown flashes of brilliance many times in his career. This year, he is hoping to be consistent and durable. Monday was clearly a good start.
Phillies swing light bats: General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said last month that "we're not going to score a lot of runs." The offense held true to form -- its .641 OPS in Spring Training was the lowest in baseball -- managing just three hits against Buchholz in seven innings.
With his home run in the first inning, Pedroia continued his streak of getting at least one hit in all nine of his Opening Day appearances. Pedroia has clocked homers in three of those openers. .
This is the first time the Phillies have been shut out on Opening Day since March 31, 1998, when they lost in 14 innings to the Mets at Shea Stadium, 1-0. Ricky Bottalico took the loss, allowing the game-winning hit to pinch-hitter Alberto Castillo. It is the eighth time they have been shut out on Opening Day in franchise history.
Red Sox: Right-hander Rick Porcello will make his debut for the Red Sox when the series resumes on Wednesday, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET. Porcello went 15-13 with the Tigers last season.
Phillies: Right-hander Aaron Harang makes his Phillies debut in the second game of the three-game series Wednesday night. Harang went 12-12 with a 3.57 ERA in 33 starts last season with the Braves.

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