Benintendi lifts Red Sox over Pirates 5-3 in post-Ortiz era

However Pittsburgh is one of my fade teams even early in the season as I just don't expect much from them, and they haven't had any success in Cole's recent starts.

"His swing is so effortless and smooth, you can't tell if he ever overswings the bat or not", Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "He creates easy power".

Rookie Andrew Benintendi hit a three-run homer that capped a five-run fifth inning, and the Red Sox began their post-David Ortiz era by beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3 in Monday's opener. The three-bagger was the hardest ball ever hit by Bradley, who launched the line-drive at 110 miles per hour according to StatCast.

"I don't think so".

"Without a returning lockdown eighth-inning guy, we're about settling into some roles as quick as possible", Farrell said Monday. "Just put backswing on the ball and it seems to go".

Reigning American League Cy Young Award victor Rick Porcello gets the ball for Boston in Monday afternoon's opener against the Pirates. It became an even easier decision for manager John Farrell when 2012 Cy Young victor David Price came down with elbow/arm soreness, joining Drew Pomeranz (and relievers Carson Smith and Tyler Thornburg) on the disabled list to start the season.

Taking the mound today is Rick Porcello.

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Clouds might start to move in by the bottom of the 9th inning.

"That is a Cy Young victor", Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of Porcello.

Cole had thrown 66 percent of his pitches for strikes and allowed only one hit, a Hanley Ramirez single to shallow center in the second inning.

Boston had only two hits before Jackie Bradley Jr.'s two-out triple to right in the fifth. Benintendi sent a 2-2 pitch into the Pittsburgh bullpen in right for his homer in the next at-bat. That came in the form of a three-run home run into the Pirates' bullpen off a 98 miles per hour fastball from Pittsburgh starter Gerrit Cole. He made a decision to try it again two pitches later, but to no avail. "They need someone from that left side to give them something consistently", said Mazz, who is leaning toward Benintendi and a motivated Pablo Sandoval to providing some pop from the left of the plate.

Francisco Cervelli sparked the Pirates' offense in the seventh, doubling off the Green Monster in left to put two in scoring position with nobody out. The Bucs fell to the Boston Red Sox by a score of 5-3. Barnes couldn't get his control down, and gave up a single and a sac fly.

With the bases loaded and one out, Starling Marte hit a line drive that appeared would go over Benintendi's head. With the obvious caveat that one game does not a season make, opening day at least proved it's possible.

Baseball fans will tell you that there's no day like Opening Day when it comes to the sport (unless of course your team wins the World Series). Nonetheless, his place as the expected Opening Day starter is nothing short of startling given what transpired a year ago. Tom Brady threw out a ceremonial first pitch and was accompanied by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and players Rob Gronkowski, James White and Dion Lewis, each holding one of the team's five Super Bowl trophies.

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