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Boston (2-1) «0111010004140
Baltimore (1-2)000201000390

Ortiz, Bogaerts pace Red Sox past Orioles in rubber game

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BALTIMORE -- The Boston Red Sox opened the new baseball season the same way they finished the last one -- by combining solid pitching and a relentless offense to win a series.

Although taking two of three from the Baltimore Orioles wasn't nearly as uplifting as winning the World Series, it still felt pretty darn good.

Felix Doubront and four relievers combined kept Baltimore's potent lineup in check, and David Ortiz had three of Boston's 12 hits off Wei-Yin Chen in a 4-3 victory Thursday night.

Xander Bogaerts also had three hits for the defending champions. The 21-year-old shortstop has reached in eight of 12 plate appearances, collecting five hits and three walks.

Boston finished with 14 hits, 12 of them singles. The Red Sox amassed 33 hits in the three games, including five by Ortiz, but even more impressive was that Boston limited the Orioles to seven runs over 27 innings.

"That's why they were the last team standing last year," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. "They pitched better than everybody else for the most part, and I don't think I'm telling anybody anything they don't know. You pitch real well, you've got a chance to play extra games at the end of the year."

Doubront (1-0) allowed two runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings, and Boston's bullpen maintained its 0.00 ERA with 3 2/3 innings of three-hit relief.

Chris Capuano got three consecutive outs in the seventh, Junichi Tazawa worked the eighth and Koji Uehara needed only seven pitches to retire the side in the ninth for his first save.

Boston's bullpen allowed six hits over 7 1/3 innings in the series.

"That's going to be critical until we get to the point where we can push the starters a little bit more, or until their efficiency continues to climb," Red Sox manager John Farrell said.

All told, there wasn't much to complain about. Boston's only loss in the series was in the opener, a 2-1 decision.

"If you can start the season winning a series, that's what you want to do," third baseman Will Middlebrooks said. "Especially with a team like Baltimore, as good as they are and the staff they have. We're pretty happy with it."

Bogaerts added, "I'm really happy the way things are going so far. We lost the first one, but we came right back and won the next two."

Matt Wieters had three hits for the Orioles and Chris Davis had two hits and scored twice, but it wasn't enough to win the deciding game of the series.

"They threw well against us in three games, but you know, luckily it's a long season," shortstop J.J. Hardy said. "We'll see them again."

Chen (0-1) gave up four runs in 5 2/3 innings. The left-hander yielded 11 singles, one double and did not issue a walk. He left in the sixth after Middlebrooks doubled and scored on a two-out single by Jackie Bradley Jr. to put Boston ahead 4-2.

"I allowed a lot of hits. That's what I have to work on," Chen said through an interpreter. "I didn't allow a big inning. That's what I'm happy about."

Baltimore chased Doubront in the bottom of the sixth. Davis singled, took third on a single by Wieters and scored on a wild pitch by Brandon Workman.

Chen gave up singles to four of the first six batters he faced but got a pair of double plays to avoid extensive damage. After Boston put runners on the corners and no outs in the second inning, Bogaerts scored on a double-play grounder.

The Red Sox made it 2-0 in the third. With two outs, Bradley scored from first base when a bloop single by Ortiz eluded the grasp of a diving Nelson Cruz.

Three singles, the last by David Ross, put Boston up 3-0 in the fourth. The Orioles scored two in the bottom half on doubles by Davis and Wieters, along with an RBI single by Delmon Young.

Notes

Ericka Brannock, who lost most of her left leg in last year's Boston Marathon bombing, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Brannock is a preschool teacher in Towson, Md. ... The Red Sox will receive their World Series rings in a pregame ceremony Friday before opening the home portion of their schedule against Milwaukee. Boston has won a franchise-record nine consecutive home openers. ... Baltimore hits the road to face the Detroit Tigers on Friday afternoon. Miguel Gonzalez starts for the Orioles against Anibal Sanchez. ... Baltimore's Ryan Flaherty went 0 for 4 and is hitless in 11 at-bats this season. ... After hitting a home run in each of his first two games with Baltimore, Cruz went 0 for 4 with a strikeout.

 
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They're at it again: David Ortiz picks up Koji Uehara after the closer nails down a save against his old team.  (USATSI)
They're at it again: David Ortiz picks up Koji Uehara after the closer nails down a save against his old team. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Baltimore

M. Wieters
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
Boston

X. Bogaerts
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Boston Red Sox
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jonny Gomes, LF4010023 .125
Dustin Pedroia, 2B5010004 .467
David Ortiz, DH5031001 .385
Mike Napoli, 1B5000024 .250
Xander Bogaerts, SS4230011 .556
Daniel Nava, RF4010012 .154
Will Middlebrooks, 3B4120010 .182
David Ross, C3011111 .333
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF4121002 .400
Felix Doubront, P0000000 .000
   Brandon Workman, P0000000 .000
   Chris Capuano, P0000000 .000
   Junichi Tazawa, P0000000 .000
   Koji Uehara, P0000000 .000
Totals38414318  
Batting
2B - Dustin Pedroia (1, Britton), Will Middlebrooks (1, Chen)
RBI - David Ortiz (3), David Ross (1), Jackie Bradley Jr. (1)
2-OUT RBI - David Ortiz (1), Jackie Bradley Jr. (1)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Bogaerts-Pedroia-Napoli
Boston Red Sox
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Felix Doubront (W,1-0) 5.1633140 5.06
Brandon Workman (H,1) 0.2100110 0.00
Chris Capuano (H,1) 1000010 0.00
Junichi Tazawa (H,1) 1200010 0.00
Koji Uehara (S,1) 1000010 0.00
WP - Brandon Workman (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Felix Doubront 76-51, Brandon Workman 16-9, Chris Capuano 11-9, Junichi Tazawa 11-9, Koji Uehara 7-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Felix Doubront 6-5, Brandon Workman 1-0, Chris Capuano 2-0, Junichi Tazawa 2-0
Batters Faced - Felix Doubront 22, Brandon Workman 4, Chris Capuano 3, Junichi Tazawa 5, Koji Uehara 3
Baltimore Orioles
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Nick Markakis, RF5020000 .231
J.J. Hardy, SS4000012 .250
Chris Davis, 1B4220011 .200
Adam Jones, CF3010102 .300
Nelson Cruz, LF4000015 .200
Matt Wieters, C4131000 .455
Delmon Young, DH3011112 .167
Jonathan Schoop, 2B4000023 .143
Ryan Flaherty, 3B4000020 .000
Wei-Yin Chen, P0000000 .000
   Evan Meek, P0000000 .000
   Zach Britton, P0000000 .000
Totals3539228  
Batting
2B - Chris Davis (1, Doubront), Matt Wieters (1, Doubront)
RBI - Matt Wieters (1), Delmon Young (1)
2-OUT RBI - Matt Wieters (1), Delmon Young (1)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Hardy-Schoop-Davis, Hardy-Schoop-Davis-Hardy-Schoop-Davis, Hardy-Schoop-Davis-Hardy-Schoop-Davis-Flaherty-Schoop-Davis
Baltimore Orioles
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Wei-Yin Chen (L,0-1) 5.21244050 6.35
Evan Meek 1.1100010 0.00
Zach Britton 2100120 0.00
HBP - Gomes (by Evan Meek)
Pitches-Strikes - Wei-Yin Chen 98-66, Evan Meek 19-13, Zach Britton 31-19
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wei-Yin Chen 3-7, Evan Meek 1-2, Zach Britton 3-0
Batters Faced - Wei-Yin Chen 27, Evan Meek 6, Zach Britton 7
Game Information
Attendance - 20880
Game Time - 2:55
Temperature - 58
Umpires - Home - Ed Hickox, First Base - Lance Barrett, Second Base - Dana DeMuth, Third Base - Ron Kulpa