The Red Sox have caught a ton of flak in recent years for obtaining big name players who don’t live up to the hype, and their contract. But on Opening Day of the 2016 season at least, the Sox were led by their superstars. The star system paid off in the form of a 6-2 victory Tuesday over the Indians in Cleveland.
Starting pitcher David Price turned in an electric debut for the Sox, striking out 10 Indians while showing the type of electric velocity that hasn’t been seen out of a Boston pitcher since Pedro Martinez. Price worked six innings, throwing 103 pitches, and allowed just five hits and two earned runs. He walked just two.
While Price looked like a Cy Young contender, Mookie Betts gave some legitimacy to his MVP buzz. Betts delivered the first runs of the Red Sox’ season, bashing a home run to left center off of Cleveland starter Corey Kluber (5.1 IP, 9 H, 4 ER).
The Red Sox’ oldest star also came through on Day 1 of 162, as David Ortiz smashed a two-run home run to right in the top of the ninth to cement the Boston win.
Betts, Ortiz, Hanley Ramirez, Travis Shaw and Brock Holt all had a pair of hits on the afternoon.
In addition to the strong offensive display and the promising outing by Price, the Red Sox’ bullpen lived up to its spring training billing as well. Junichi Tazawa worked a perfect seventh, Koji Uehara worked a perfect eighth and new closer Craig Kimbrel struck out two in the ninth – walking one but not allowing a hit or a run – in a clean Sox win.
The Sox and Indians will get right back to it today (6 p.m., NESN) in Cleveland as Clay Buchholz (7-7, 3.26 ERA in 2015) will take the ball for the Sox and Carlos Carrasco (14-12, 3.63 ERA in 2015) will get the start for Terry Francona’s group.