BOSTON — Pittsburgh Pirates ace Gerrit Cole was cruising along with his 98 mph fastballs until the Boston Red Sox suddenly got hot and opportunistic.

Boston scored five runs in the fifth inning, all with two outs, to break open a scoreless game and beat the Pirates 5-3 on Monday afternoon, before an Opening Day sold-out crowd of 36,594 at Fenway Park.

Andrew Benintendi capped the rally with a three-run homer into the Pirates bullpen in right field.

That was enough for Rick Porcello, who won his first Opening Day assignment, allowing three runs on six hits over 61/3 innings.

Cole was working on a one-hitter after he retired the first two batters in the fifth. Then Jackie Bradley Jr. woke up the Fenway crowd with a triple off the right-field wall.

Boston went up 1-0 when Bradley scored on an infield single to deep short by Pablo Sandoval. Sandy Leon followed with a bunt single down the third-base line, beating a shift.

Sandoval, who is in noticeably better shape than the past two seasons, scored on a Dustin Pedroia single up the middle. Then Benintendi stepped up, and Cole delivered a 98 mph fastball on a 2-2 count. Benintendi crushed it, and Boston led 5-0.

Cole, who needed only 50 pitches for the first four innings, threw 26 in the fifth and was done for the day.

Porcello lost his shutout in the seventh. He gave up three hits and left the game with one out and a 5-1 lead. Matt Barnes relieved and allowed both inherited runs to score, on a single, a walk and a sacrifice fly. The sacrifice fly was actually a line drive toward left-center on which Benintendi make a leaping catch.

Relievers Robby Scott and Heath Hembree took care of the eighth, and closer Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his first save.

The Red Sox and Pirates are off Tuesday and resume the series at 7 p.m. Wednesday, when Chris Sale will make his Boston debut.

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.