Found April 09, 2013 on Boston Sports Then & Now:
The Red Sox did something they weren’t able to do much of last year; send the Fenway faithful home happy. In their home opener, the Red Sox defeated the Baltimore Orioles 3-1, behind a very strong outing by starter Clay Buchholz, 2-0, and a Daniel Nava 7th inning 3-run home run. With the game scoreless in the 7th, and Buchholz done for the day, the Red Sox offense was able to get to Baltimore starter, Wei-Yin Chen. To lead off the 7th Dustin Pedroia hit an infield single to shortstop, and just beat the throw to first, for only the 3rd Red Sox hit of the game. Mike Napoli followed Pedroia with a double to center field, and Pedroia, who possibly could have scored from first was stopped at third base. With two on and no out, Sunday’s hero, Will Middlebrooks stepped to the plate. After a seven pitch at bat, Middlebrooks struck out swinging, which brought up the starting right fielder, Daniel Nava, who already had a single and walked against Chen in the game. Daniel Nava after hitting a 7th inning 3-run home run, which gave the Red Sox a 3-0 lead Buck Showalter and the Orioles decided against intentionally walking Nava, and Nava made them pay by hitting a 3-run home run over the green monster on an 0-2 fastball. That was all the offense the Red Sox needed. Nava was given the start in right field over the rookie phenom, Jackie Bradley Jr, and John Farrell’s decision paid off handsomely.   Andrew Bailey started the 8th inning for the Red Sox, and had a 1-2-3 inning, and struck out Nate McLouth, and Manny Machado to begin the 8th. The new Red Sox closer, Joel Hanrahan came on for the 9th inning in his first Fenway appearance. Hanrahan who had been lights out in his first three games this season looked a bit like Jonathan Papelbon towards the end of his Red Sox tenure. Adam Jones, who made headlines by talking smack about the Red Sox, and talking about wanting to “shut up” the Fenway faithful, hit a leadoff home run to bring the Orioles within two. After retiring the next batters, Hanrahan gave up a double to JJ Hardy which brought the potential game tying run to the plate, Ryan Flaherty. Hanrahan was able to get Flaherty to pop out to third base after getting ahead in the count 0-2, and Red Sox won. Red Sox Starting Pitcher, Clay Buchholz In his 7 innings of work, Buchholz looked outstanding by only allowing 3 hits, and striking out 8 Orioles batters. Buchholz did however walk four Orioles, and in his post game press conference, made it clear he wasn’t satisfied with that. In fact during his press conference, he made it seem like he didn’t pitch well at all. Buchholz and Jon Lester are now 4-0 combined, and have only given up 3 runs total. Although it’s only a small sample size, not a lot of people expected the number 1 and 2 starters to perform so well. For the seventh game in a row, the Red Sox did not commit a single error, which is a franchise record to begin a season. The Red Sox will face the Orioles in the second game of the three game set tomorrow night, with Ryan Dempster taking the hill against Jake Arrieta. Dempster allowed 3 runs on 5 hits and 4 walks, in 5 innings, in a loss to the Yankees last Thursday night. His counterpart, Jake Arrieta, gave up 5 runs in 5 innings, off 7 hits against the Minnesota Twins, in a Baltimore 9-5 victory. Arrieta had a no decision in that game.
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