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Benintendi Lifts Red Sox Over Pirates In First Game Of Post-Ortiz Era

The Boston Red Sox's Andrew Benintendi hits a three-run homer in front of Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli during the fifth inning at Fenway Park Monday. (Elise Amendola/AP)
The Boston Red Sox's Andrew Benintendi hits a three-run homer in front of Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli during the fifth inning at Fenway Park Monday. (Elise Amendola/AP)

Rookie Andrew Benintendi hit a three-run homer that capped a five-run fifth inning, and the Boston Red Sox began their post-David Ortiz era by beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3 in Monday's opener.

Reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello (1-0) gave up three runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings while striking out five. Craig Kimbrel retired Starling Marte on a game-ending popup with two on for the save.

Playing the team it beat in the first World Series in 1903, Boston opened against a National League opponent for just the second time.

Gerrit Cole (0-1), the first overall pick in the 2011 amateur draft, gave up five runs and seven hits in five innings.

Ortiz retired after last season after helping the Red Sox win three Series titles, their first since 1918.

Even without Ortiz, there was still plenty of pageantry at Fenway Park.

The ceremonial first pitch was attended by a quintet of members of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots headlined by MVP quarterback Tom Brady, who made the toss. They were joined by owner Robert Kraft and all five of the franchise's Lombardi trophies.

It may have brought the hometown team some good luck.

Boston had only two hits before Jackie Bradley Jr.'s two-out triple to right in the fifth. He scored the first run after Pablo Sandoval beat out a sharp grounder to shortstop Jordy Mercer.

Sandy Leon bunted his way on, Sandoval scored on Dustin Pedroia's line-drive single up the middle and Benintendi homered.

Porcello allowed only three hits through six innings. Josh Harrison had an RBI single in the seventh, and the Pirates added two runs off Matt Barnes before before Andrew McCutchen struck out for the third time.

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