BOSTON (AP) The Red Sox know scoring nine runs in every game is satisfying - though not sustainable.
“We’re probably not going to average nine runs a game all year long,” Kiké Hernández said after collecting two of the team's 14 hits in a 9-5 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday. “But I do believe that's what we're capable of.”
Coming off a last-place finish in 2022 and predicted to finish at the bottom of the AL East again this season, the Red Sox opened by beating Baltimore two out of three - scoring nine runs in each game. They are the third team in baseball history to score at least nine in three straight games to start a season, joining Cincinnati’s 1976 Big Red Machine and the ’78 Milwaukee Brewers known as “Bambi’s Bombers.”
One day after amassing four hits, including a walk-off homer, Adam Duvall had three more hits - two doubles and a two-run single to break a fifth-inning tie. The free agent outfielder collected his sixth extra-base hit of the season, becoming the first player in franchise history with six in his first three games with the team.
“We all knew that he was going to love Fenway Park, he’s going to love the Green Monster being that close,” Hernández said. “He drives in runs; that’s what he does. And when he hits the ball he hits it very hard. So so far, that’s been great.”
Tanner Houck (1-0) lasted five innings – the longest outing for a Red Sox starter this season -- giving up three runs, five hits and a walk while striking out five. Hernández hit a solo homer, and Rafael Devers, Masataka Yoshida and Alex Verdugo each had two of Boston’s 14 hits.
Duvall played the first 10 years of his career in the NL before signing with Boston this offseason. But he already knew he liked Fenway Park, batting .407 with six homers and 12 RBIs in six interleague games.
“He has done damage in this stadium before, and we've seen it,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “But to do it with us means a lot. And to see that wall 81 times - hopefully plus - I think there's a comfort level for him.”
After falling behind by six runs in each of the first two games, Boston led 3-0 after three innings. The Orioles tied it in the fifth with home runs by Adam Frazier and Cedric Mullins, but the Red Sox came back with three in the bottom half.
Yoshida singled in one run to break the tie and chase starter Cole Irvin. When Bryan Baker bounced a pitch, the runners moved into scoring position, with Justin Turner barely beating the throw to third.
Duvall dropped one into left-center to score two more runs and make it 6-3. Baltimore made it 6-5 on Mullins’ two-run single in the seventh, but the Red Sox went up 8-5 on RBI singles from Triston Casas and Hernández.
Frazier had three hits, and Orioles starter Cole Irvin (0-1) allowed six runs on eight hits and two walks, striking out four in four-plus innings.
Orioles: Visit Texas for the start of a three-game series. RHP Kyle Bradish will face RHP Jon Gray.
Red Sox: Open a three-game set against the Pittsburgh Pirates, with RHP Kutter Crawford facing RHP Johan Oviedo.
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