Mookie Betts took over Monday's 9-4 Red Sox win over the Nationals. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Closing Time: Mookie Betts, Rick Porcello power Red Sox over Nationals in home opener

Ryan Hannable
April 13, 2015 - 2:14 pm
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Mookie Betts is quickly becoming a Boston fan favorite. The Red Sox' center fielder achieved for what for some may take the entire season in the first two innings in the Red Sox' 9-4 win over the Nationals in the home opener. The Red Sox have now won nine of their last 10 home openers. In the top of the first inning he robbed Bryce Harper of a home run to right center field. Then, after leading off the bottom half of the inning with a walk, he stole second base and with the Nationals shifting David Ortiz, alertly swiped third base too with no one covering the bag on the same play. Washington challenged both, but Betts was ruled safe at both second and third. He scored on the next pitch -- an RBI single to left by Ortiz. Betts wasn't done there as when he stepped to the plate in the bottom of the second with two runners on and lined a three-run homer into the Monster seats. It was his second home run of the season. Jordan Zimmermann struggled for the Nationals allowing eight runs (seven earned) on nine hits while walking one, hitting two and not recording a strikeout in just 2 1/3 innings. He was the victim of some horrid defense behind him as the visitors committed an error, but allowed two fly balls to fall between two outfielders and another misplayed ball in the infield. Red Sox starter Rick Porcello, in his Fenway Park debut in a Red Sox uniform, went eight innings to pick up his first win. Junichi Tazawa closed out the game in a non-save situation. The offense also gave Porcello plenty of support, belting out 13 hits in the win. SWENSON GRANITE WORKS ROCK SOLID PERFORMER OF THE GAME: Betts. He finished 2-for-4 with a home run, four RBI and two stolen bases. He became the first Red Sox leadoff hitter to record at least a home run, four RBI, and two stolen bases in a game. Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox win: WHAT WENT RIGHT -- Porcello gave the Red Sox a solid performance. The right-hander went eight innings allowing four runs (three earned) on four hits. He walked one and struck out six, while throwing 112 pitches. The game was never in any doubt, as Porcello kept the Nationals at bay the whole way. He now has two good starts in a Red Sox uniform after signing an extension last week. -- After Betts dominated the first two innings, the Red Sox scored four more runs in the third. Xander Bogaerts, Sandy Leon and Betts all had RBI singles, while Dustin Pedroia added a sacrifice fly. -- Bogaerts continues to have success at the plate to open the year. He went 2-for-3 with an RBI in the game. He is now 13-for-30 (.433) with seven RBI on the year. -- Ortiz lined a solo homer into the Monster seats in the sixth inning. It was his second home run of the year, but a good sign to see him go with the pitch and drive the ball the opposite way. It was his second hit of the game, as he went 2-for-4. -- Leon had a nice day at the plate against the team that traded him to the Red Sox late in the spring by going 3-for-4. It was his first career three-hit game. -- The Red Sox put together a tremendous pregame ceremony. It started with Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and Robert and Jonathan Kraft coming out of the Green Monster each holding a Lombardi trophy. Brady then threw out the first pitch to Ortiz (low and outside). Following that, ALS patient Pete Frates and his family was joined at the mound by general manager Ben Cherington and he signed a 1-day professional contract with the Red Sox. The team then came out of the dugout with the No. 3 jerseys they wore in the spring training game on his honor. The festivities concluded with Pedro Martinez and Frates and his wife Julie saying, "Play Ball." WHAT WENT WRONG -- After cruising through the first four innings, Porcello allowed two runs in the fifth, including a solo homer to Ryan Zimmerman to dead center. He allowed another run in the inning, as well as single runs in the seventh and eighth innings, but nonetheless it was a great start from the right-hander. -- Shane Victorino finished the game 0-for-4 and grounded into a double play, while leaving five runners on base. He was the only Red Sox hitter not to reach base. -- The Red Sox did make two errors in the game -- Sandoval airmailed first base on a throw, and Bogaerts misplayed a grounder.

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