Mookie Betts hit a three-run homer, took a two-run shot away from Bryce Harper with a flashy catch and stole two bases on the same pitch, leading the Boston Red Sox to a 9-4 victory over the Washington Nationals on Monday in their home opener.
Rick Porcello (1-1) made his Fenway debut one week after signing an $82.5 million, four-year contract, allowing four hits in eight innings. Two of the hits were solo homers by Ryan Zimmerman and Danny Espinosa.
The Red Sox rolled to an 8-0 lead after three innings against Jordan Zimmermann (1-1). The Nationals' right-hander was as wild to start the game as Tom Brady, whose ceremonial first pitch to David Ortiz bounced in the dirt in the left-hander's batters' box.
Ortiz capped the scoring for Boston with a solo homer in the sixth.
Betts showed off all the skills that has made him an instant star center fielder - in the first two innings.
He leaped above the low wall in front of the Boston bullpen in right-center field to snare Harper's drive in the first.
Zimmermann walked Betts on five pitches to open the bottom half and the 22 year old stole second and third on the same play. He then scored on a single by Ortiz.
Betts capped off the fine start with his homer that made it 4-0 in the second.
In the third, Zimmermann hit the first two batters, Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval. Helped by two misplays by center fielder Michael A. Taylor that fell for singles, the Red Sox made it 8-0 on RBI singles by Xander Bogaerts, Sandy Leon and Betts and a sacrifice fly by Dustin Pedroia.
The Red Sox improved to 18-5 in their last 23 home openers. The Nationals lost one day after snapping a three-game losing streak with a 4-3 win in 10 innings in Philadelphia.
Porcello has allowed just 10 hits in 14 innings since being obtained in a trade that sent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to Detroit. The only hit he allowed in the first four innings was a single by Yunel Escobar in the first. Zimmerman led off the fourth with his second homer of the year. Clint Robinson followed with a triple and scored on an RBI groundout by Espinosa.
Zimmerman started the seventh by reaching on a two-base throwing error by third baseman Sandoval and scored on a groundout by Ian Desmond, making it 9-3. Espinosa then led off the eighth with his first homer.
Nationals: Left fielder Jayson Werth batted fourth after being activated from the 15-day disabled list and went hitless in three at-bats. He was coming back from surgery on his right shoulder in January. The Nationals optioned outfielder Matt den Dekker to Triple-A Syracuse.
Red Sox: Closer Koji Uehara was activated from the 15-day disabled list after a strained left hamstring limited him to three spring training appearances. The Red Sox optioned left-handed reliever Tommy Layne to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Nationals: Stephen Strasburg (0-1) makes his second start of the season on Tuesday night. In his first, he allowed six runs - three earned - in 5 1-3 innings of a 6-3 loss to Matt Harvey and the New York Mets.
Red Sox: Justin Masterson (1-0) makes his first start at Fenway Park since returning to the Red Sox after signing ads a free agent from St. Louis. The Red Sox traded him to Cleveland in 2009. Masterson and Strasburg both pitched at San Diego State.
This article was originally published on April 13, 2015.