Baseball is back. The sun was shining bright on Citizens Bank Pank in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Monday; however the Phillies’ bats were silent. Red Sox Opening Day starter Clay Buchholz (W: 1-0, 0.00 ERA) struck out the Phillies nine times, while only allowing three hits in seven innings of work. Phillies’ manager Ryne Sandberg did not get the start he anticipated from ace Cole Hamels (L: 0-1, 7.20 ERA), who served up four solo home runs in his five innings on the hill. The Red Sox scored all eight of their runs on home runs, with two coming from Dustin Pedroia, two from Hanley Ramirez, and one from rookie Mookie Betts en route to the thier 8-0 Opening Day victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.
Dustin Pedroia started the scoring brigade for the Red Sox, knocking a solo home run to left off of Cole Hamels on the second at-bat of the game in the first inning. Rookie Mookie Betts, who the Phillies have vigorously tried to acquire for Cole Hamels in the off-season, teed up Hamels in the third inning for a solo shot of his own, putting the Red Sox up two early.
As Hamels kept pitching, the Red Sox kept scoring runs. Pedroia hit his second home run of the day in the fifth inning, which was followed by a Hanley Ramirez solo shot two at-bats later. Hamels would finish the fifth before getting pulled in the losing effort. Throughout all five of his innings, the Phillies’ ace struggled with his command, escalating his pitch count with three ball counts.
Scoring halted once Hamels left the ball game for both teams (despite not even starting for the Phillies) until the top of the ninth. Hanley Ramirez stepped to the plate with the bases load, and nailed a grand slam off of lefty Jake Diekman to put the nail on the coffin for the Phillies on Opening Day.
In their 8-0 defeat, the Phillies only managed to reach base five times on three hits from Ryan Howard, Carlos Ruiz, and Grady Sizemore, and two drawn walks by Ruiz.
The inability to manufacture runs is something that will haunt the Phillies in the long season that awaits ahead of them. Putting the shut out on Opening Day aside, on Wednesday night the Phillies will send Aaron Harang to the mound who will be opposed by Rick Porcello.
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