Pitching is supposed to be the question mark for the 2021 Red Sox, but it was their bats that came up short on Opening Day. Boston managed just two hits – which came in their first and second-to-last at-bats of the game – in a 3-0 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Friday at Fenway Park. It’s the first time the Sox have been shutout on Opening Day since 1976, and the first time it’s happened at home since 1962.
The game was through five innings, but Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi was pulled at 89 pitches in the top of the sixth with a runner on first. Matt Andriese, making his Red Sox debut, then walked a hitter and allowed a fielders choice before giving up a two-run double to Ryan Mountcastle. Baltimore would add another run in the top of the eighth after Josh Taylor allowed three consecutive singles.
Eovaldi ended up taking the loss, after throwing 5.1 innings, allowing four hits with four strikeouts and a walk. He was charged with one earned run, which scored on the Mountcastle double.
John Means picked up the win after keeping the Red Sox bats at bay for most of the afternoon. He retired 18 straight hitters after allowing the leadoff single to Kiké Hernandez, and finished with five strikeouts in seven full innings. Cesar Valdez picked up the save and allowed the only other hit, a ninth-inning double by J.D. Martinez.
Boston’s quest for their first run of the season continues tomorrow, with first pitch scheduled for 1:10 p.m.. Rookie Tanner Houck is scheduled to start the game for the Red Sox, he’ll be opposed by former NL Comeback Player of the Year Matt Harvey.
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.