Ortiz, Napoli power Red Sox over Orioles
After failing to come up with a big hit and going 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position in Monday’s season-opener, the Red Sox got plenty of big hits Wednesday led by David Ortiz and Mike Napoli going a combined 3-for-8 with two homers and six RBI in the Sox’ 6-2 win over the Orioles.
Ortiz got the Red Sox on the board with a two-run shot to right field in the third inning for the first two runs of the game. Then, after the Orioles tied the game at two, Napoli snapped the tie with a two-run homer to dead center on an 0-2 pitch in the fifth. Napoli later gave the Red Sox two insurance runs in the seventh as Ortiz was intentionally walked to load the bases before Napoli made them pay with a two-run single to left, giving the Sox a 6-2 advantage.
Dustin Pedroia also had a big night for the Sox going 4-for-5 with two runs scored.
John Lackey had strong first outing of 2014 as he went six innings, allowing two runs on three hits while striking out six. The one mistake came in the fourth inning when he allowed a two-run home run to Nelson Cruz, also coming on an 0-2 pitch. Edward Mujica pitched a scoreless seventh, Junichi Tazawa a scoreless eighth and Koji Uehara a scoreless ninth in a non-save situation.
Ubaldo Jimenez suffered the loss in his first start in an Orioles uniform as he gave up four runs on five hits over six innings.
The teams will close out their season-opening series tomorrow night (7:05, NESN) as Felix Doubront will go up against Wei-Yin Chen.
What they’ll be saying: The leaders of the Red Sox offense certainly led them in this one as Pedroia, Ortiz and Napoli were a combined 7-for-13 with two home runs, four runs scored and six RBI. It’s been an encouraging first two games for the Sox offensively as despite coming away with only one run Monday they swung the bats well, they just couldn’t come up with a clutch hit and then put up six runs tonight … Aside from the home run, Lackey was dominant, retiring 11 straight at one point. Like Lester on Monday, Lackey relied heavily on his fastball in his first win of 2014. The bullpen was sharp in their first extended game of the year, allowing three hits in three full innings of work.