The Boston Red Sox relied on home runs from second baseman Dustin Pedroia and newly-acquired shortstop Hanley Ramirez to rout the Philadelphia Phillies, 8-0, on the road in both teams' 2015 season opener on April 6.
The Boston Red Sox beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 8-0, in both teams' 2015 MLB season opener on April 6.
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According to MLB.com's Todd Zolecki and Ian Browne, the Red Sox relied on two home runs from second baseman Dustin Pedroia and one each from second-year outfielder Mookie Betts and newly-acquired shortstop Hanley Ramirez to pummel starter Cole Hamels and the Phillies into submission.
For good measure, Ramirez struck again in the ninth inning against Phillies closer Jake Diekman with a broken-bat grand slam, per MLB.com.
It was the first time Philadelphia has been shut out in its season debut dating back to March 31, 1998, when they lost, 1-0, to their National League East rivals New York Mets in 14 innings, per MLB.com.
In addition, it was also just the first time in Red Sox franchise history when two players homered more than once on Opening Day, per The Elias Sports Bureau (via MLB.com).
Hamels' counterpart, the Red Sox's Clay Buchholz registered the shutout victory and allowed just three hits with one walk. He also had nine strikeouts in seven innings of work, says Zolecki and Browne.
Buchholz spoke with MLB.com to talk about his thoughts on the game:
"It was good. There was a lot of building up to this moment. I felt good all spring. It's just another step, I guess. I was a little more anxious today than I have ever been for [other] first starts given all the attention to it. After the first couple pitches, it felt like a normal game."
His manager, John Farrell, stressed to Zolecki and Browne getting off to a good start to the season is imperative for the Red Sox:
"We know just getting out of the gate is important to us. One game does not make for that. Still, we understand the importance of April. Teams that have been successful here and gone deep into a postseason have gotten off to a good start, and we know that's important to us."
As for Hamels, his trend of slow starts to a season continues. After allowing four home runs in five innings, he now has a 1-7 win-loss record and a 5.13 ERA in 10 career season-opening starts, per MLB.com.
It was also just Hamels' second time to allow four homers in a game, per a separate MLB.com update from Zolecki. The last time Hamels allowed that many was almost five years ago on April 23, 2010 against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Hamels spoke about his rough start, per MLB.com:
"I think it's just kind of the way that's gone. Sometimes that's the situation, but it's nothing that I'm trying to go out and purposely do.
"No matter if we're veterans, young guys or have a couple years in the league, it takes a team to win a ballgame and it takes a team to lose a ballgame. I just want to be accountable for what I do and today didn't go the way I planned it. I wasn't able to make the right pitches at the right time."
In contrast, Pedrioa continues to build on his hot streak on season openers. His home run off Hamels was his ninth straight Opening Day-hit dating back to 2007. He has had three home runs during that stretch, per MLB.com.
The crowd of 45,549 in attendance at Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park gave former outfielder Shane Victorino a standing ovation in his return. He gave the fans a tip of the cap to acknowledge their cheers, per The Boston Herald's Jason Mastrodonato.
Even though he now plays for the Red Sox, Victorino still did not disappoint when he stole third base in the second inning and made a great catch in the fifth, Mastrodonato adds.
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