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Fifth inning snowballs for Gerrit Cole in Pirates opener

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Boston Red Sox vs. Pittsburgh Pirates- 4/3/17 MLB Pick Odds and Prediction

Five of the seven hits he allowed, and all five runs, came in succession after there were two outs with no one on in the bottom of the fifth inning.

There are high hopes for this team, after the Sox won the American League East previous year but then lost to the Indians in the divisional round of the playoffs. They've got the first one out of the way, now it's time to win about 99 more. However, two strikeouts is a bit concerning from a guy with a power arm. I find it alarmingly shortsighted and forgetful of Boston sports fans to assume this is an easy ride.

Reigning AL Cy Young Award victor Rick Porcello (1-0) gave up 3 runs and 6 hits in 61/3 innings while striking out five. This is also Porcello's first career Opening day start, earning that spot after the fabulous season he put forth previous year.

OUR PICK: Dating back to last season, the Pirates are 1-4 in Cole's last five road starts, are 1-4 in his last five interleague starts, and are 0-5 in his last five starts overall. It's what they need.

Ortiz retired after last season after helping the Red Sox win three Series titles, their first since 1918. Comcast On Demand will also feature a new Red Sox special 30-minute animated show, Wally's Opening Day, featuring the loveable mascot and a star-studded cast.

The victory was a good sign for Porcello, who is attempting to follow up his Cy Young winning 2016 season with a similar performance.

Porcello allowed only three hits through six innings.

"Last year is last year", Porcello told MLB.com.

Mar 5, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jameson Taillon (50) throws a pitch during the first inning against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. He had heat packs wrapped on his left shoulder before the game but said he should be ready to play left field later this week. Their largest source of protection, David Ortiz, retired after having the most successful season as a 40-year-old in Major League Baseball history with 38 home runs and 127 RBI. That's nothing against, him, just more to do with how stacked the Boston lineup is. Pittsburgh was playing Toronto in Montreal's Olympic Stadium on Friday and Saturday to close out its exhibition slate, while the Red Sox were in Washington to play two with the Nationals, although Friday's affair was rained out. The 31-year-old has been participating in some baseball activities and has thrown from 75-to-90 feet recently.

The Sox then went full tilt.

For at least one game, Red Sox nation breathed a sigh of relief as Boston began its first David Ortiz-less season since 2002.

· Left-handed pitcher David Price was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a left elbow strain. He's actually gone deep in each of his last three openers, as he went deep as part of a 4-for-4 game for Double A Portland to kick-start his standout 2014 season. He needs to prove that he can be relied upon to be a fixture in this rotation.

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