BOSTON -- Chris Davis crushed a three-run homer with two outs in the top of the ninth to lift the undefeated Orioles to a 9-7 victory over the Red Sox in Monday's home opener at Fenway Park.According to Statcast™, the blast by Davis against new Boston closer Craig Kimbrel had
BOSTON -- Chris Davis crushed a three-run homer with two outs in the top of the ninth to lift the undefeated Orioles to a 9-7 victory over the Red Sox in Monday's home opener at Fenway Park.
According to Statcast™, the blast by Davis against new Boston closer Craig Kimbrel had an exit velocity of 111 mph and traveled a projected 426 feet. The 0-1 pitch from Kimbrel was a 97 mph fastball and Davis hammered it to straightaway center. It was the first time Kimbrel has given up a three-run homer.
The Orioles are the only team in the Majors to remain unbeaten. It's the club's first 6-0 start since the move to Baltimore in 1954.
"We're obviously happy about the start, but I think for the most part, the mood's always pretty positive in the clubhouse," Davis said. "It's a long season. In this division, you're always going to have ups and downs. You just got to kind of ride it out. I'm proud of the way the guys are playing. It's obviously good to get off to a good start."
As was the case for Kimbrel, this wasn't the home debut David Price was looking to have for the Red Sox (3-3). The lefty threw 103 pitches in five innings, giving up five hits and five runs while walking two and striking out eight. His downfall was the third, when he threw 30 pitches and gave up a five-spot. Yovani Gallardo turned in a similar performance for Baltimore, giving up seven hits and five runs over five innings.
The game had several shifts in momentum. The Red Sox struck first with four straight hits to open the first, including RBI singles by Xander Bogaerts and David Ortiz en route to a 3-0 lead. But the Orioles got it all back and then some in that five-run third, with a three-run homer to right-center by Mark Trumbo serving as the big hit against Price.
Boston tied it in the fourth, only to have the Orioles reclaim the lead in the top of the sixth on an RBI double by Jonathan Schoop. The Red Sox again bounced back with a run in the bottom of the frame, turning the game into a battle of bullpens. Kimbrel blinked first.
Still, the Red Sox threatened in the ninth against O's closer Zach Britton. Mookie Betts opened with a homer to make it a two-run game. Dustin Pedroia singled and Bogaerts walked. Ortiz, playing in his final home opener, came up as the go-ahead run, but he hit into a double play, thwarting the rally. Britton then struck out Hanley Ramirez to notch his third save.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Crush Davis: Davis, last year's Major League leader in home runs (47), delivered a big one on Monday afternoon. It marked the third homer of the season for the first baseman, who drove in five of the Orioles' nine runs. More >
"Chris had the most engaged Spring Training I've ever seen," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "And not where it's over the top where he's trying to do too much and show he's worthy. He's been focused since the day he walked through the doors in Sarasota, and he's getting a return for it. His defense was the difference in the game today."
Holt's hustle sparks Red Sox:Brock Holt helped to create a momentum change in the sixth inning. In the top of the frame, he made a sprawling catch toward the corner in left to take an extra-base hit away from Caleb Joseph. Not only that, but Holt fired to second to double off Schoop to end the inning and keep Boston's deficit to 6-5. He then walked in the bottom half of the frame, advanced to third on a single and scored the game-tying run on a ground ball by Jackie Bradley Jr.
Amid a rally in the bottom of the ninth, the Red Sox challenged the ruling at first when Ortiz hit into a 4-6-3 double play. But the call was confirmed, as it appeared Ortiz hadn't quite gotten his foot on the bag before Davis gloved the throw.
PROUD PAPI DURING PREGAME
Ortiz was the focal point of a nice pregame ceremony put together by the Red Sox. Most poignantly, Ortiz's 15-year-old daughter, Alex, sang the national anthem. Fellow Boston sports icons Bill Russell and Bobby Orr joined Ortiz in a joint first pitch. Pedro Martinez, Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield came on to the field and chanted "Play Ball" with Ortiz shortly before the game got underway. More >
"Well, it was a real surprise," said Ortiz. "It caught me off guard. My daughter, she's always singing and all kinds of things when I go home, but it's cool. It was totally a surprise. I was nervous. I was dying. She was pretty good."
"You win, it's going to be a great clubhouse, great environment. But I think it's been established here. These guys are used to winning, coming back late in games and that's invaluable." -- Trumbo
Orioles: The Orioles will send right-hander Mike Wright to the hill for his season debut on Tuesday at Fenway Park (game time is 7:10 p.m. ET). Wright, on his first Opening Day roster, was originally slated to pitch on Saturday. That game was postponed due to inclement weather, and since Wright had already warmed up, he was pushed to Tuesday.
Red Sox: Right-hander Clay Buchholz will try to recover from a shaky first outing when he starts Game 2 on Tuesday night against the Orioles. Buchholz has pitched well against Baltimore in his career, going 10-5 with a 3.65 ERA in 19 games.
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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.