Red Sox 3, Orioles 1

The SportsXchange

BOSTON -- Daniel Nava hit a three-run homer to back seven shutout innings from Clay Buchholz, carrying the Boston Red Sox to a 3-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles in their home opener Monday afternoon.

The win was Boston's ninth straight in home openers and improved its record to 5-2.

Adam Jones belted a homer for the Orioles, who fell to 3-4.

Buchholz (2-0) was dazzling at times, mixing a sharp curve with a well-spotted, lows 90s fastball for the victory. He held Baltimore to three singles, walking four with eight strikeouts -- four looking.

Wei-Yin Chen (0-1) took the tough-luck loss, allowing three runs on five hits in 6 1/3 innings.

And it was a lineup change from manager John Farrell that had Nava in the lineup.

Farrell explained before the game that it was a chance to get Nava's right-handed bat in. The switch-hitting Nava replaced rookie Jackie Bradley Jr., who was struggling at the plate with three hits in 21 at-bats.

The Red Sox broke in front, 3-0, against Chen on Nava's homer in the seventh. Dustin Pedroia reached on an infield hit to short and advanced to third when Mike Napoli doubled off the base of the left-center field wall. Nava then belted a shot over the seats above the Green Monster, making the lineup change look good.

Andrew Bailey worked the eighth, striking out a pair, and Joel Hanrahan pitched the ninth for his 99th career save and third this season.

After the pregame excitement of opening day wore off, the teams settled into a pitchers' duel. Buchholz limited the Orioles to three singles through six innings and Chen did one better, holding Boston to a pair of singles.

Baltimore's best chance in the opening innings came when Manny Machado and Nick Markakis had consecutive two-out singles in the third, but Buchholz fanned red-hot Jones looking with a curveball to end the threat.

Following pregame festivities that included a flyover, emotional singing by former and current Jimmy Fund patients, and a pause to remember greats that each franchise lost last year -- the passing of Johnny Pesky and Earl Weaver -- Nate McLouth opened the game with a sharp single to center.

With Boston coming off miserable 69-win season, the worst since 1966, many of the Red Sox fans came into Fenway Park with limited hopes. It showed with a lackluster pregame crowd that had the nearly 101-year old ballpark only about two-thirds full.

NOTES: Farrell said RHP John Lackey, who walked off the mound in Saturday's loss against Toronto with a right biceps strain, is "still in the 48-, 72-hour recovery period. The most important thing is, following the MRI it showed some inflammation in the bicep." He also said that it showed no tear. Lackey is iffy for his next scheduled start Friday. Farrell said Alfredo Aceves is a candidate to start. ... Farrell said DH David Ortiz, recovering from a a sore heel that's had him miss the entire spring training, was expected to hit in a simulated game in Florida on Monday. ... The Orioles won the season series 13-5 last year, going 7-2 in Fenway. ... Jones, who was one of the few Orioles greeted with a spattering of boos -- along with manager Buck Showalter, came in with at least a hit in the first six games, going 14 for 26. ... The Red Sox paid tribute to their 60-year relationship with the Jimmy Fund, an organization that raises funds to support cancel research, by having patients throw out ceremonial first pitches with doctors and nurses along side. ... Boston announced that Toronto claimed INF Mauro Gomez off waivers. ... Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin was in the stands and got a nice hand when they showed him on the center-field video board.
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