Rick Porcello went eight strong innings in his first start at Fenway as a member of the Red Sox Monday. (Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Rick Porcello on first Fenway Park start as member of Red Sox: 'Something I’ll never forget'

Ryan Hannable
April 13, 2015 - 4:13 pm

Pitching in the Red Sox' home opener at Fenway Park is hard enough, but having that start be in your first home start as a member of the Red Sox makes it even harder. That was the task Rick Porcello faced Monday afternoon, but he didn't bat an eye as he helped lead the Red Sox to a 9-4 win over the Nationals. "I obviously wanted to go out there and put up a good start," Porcello said. "The guys swung the bats great and really I didn'€™t have to do a whole lot but throw strikes and keep the ball down. Definitely had some butterflies early on, I was pretty excited, but it was a lot fun." Given a 3-0 lead after two innings and a 8-0 lead after three innings, the pressure was off Porcello, but he didn't even need all that support as he went eight strong innings allowing four runs (three earned) on nine hits while walking one and striking out six. He did allow two home runs, a solo shot to Ryan Zimmerman in the fifth and Danny Espinosa in the eighth. Even with the strong start he still feels like he can get better. "€œI feel good. I think I'€™ve got some room for improvement in consistency," he said. "Hit a little hiccup in the fifth but I feel good." Porcello was born in Morristown, New Jersey and has a family vacation home in Southern Vermont, so he knows the history of Fenway Park very well. Pitching at Fenway Park in a Red Sox uniform for the first time was something he will never forget. "It was special for me. Something I'€™ll never forget," Porcello said. "It was a lot of fun. I can't really put it into words right now, but it was exciting."€ Porcello took even more satisfaction in the start after the Red Sox' 10-run defeat less than 15 hours prior to Monday's game Sunday night in New York against the Yankees. He made sure the team didn't lose back-to-back games for the first time this season. "I think it'€™s good," Porcello said. "We had a rough night last night but we got in and then we came in this morning, everybody had energy somehow and we were ready to go." The right-hander seems to enjoy pitching at Fenway as he is now 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in his last two starts, going eight innings in both of them as well.