After the usual Opening Day festivities, including an homage to the Super Bowl LI Champion New England Patriots, the Olde Towne Team got to work. Andrew Benintendi launched a 3 run blast to cap a 5 run 5th inning, providing more than enough for the Sox to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates. Rick Porcello started for Boston, and sailed through until the 7th, when the Pirates got 3 hits, including a double by Francisco Cervelli, to put a run of their own on the board. On came Matt Barnes with runners at the corners and 1 out. A Jordy Mercer single drove in the second Pirates run, and after a wild pitch, Barnes walked Adam Frazier to load the bases for Starling Marte. His sac fly plated the third Pittsburgh run, and a strikeout ended the inning. Sandy Leon executed what may be a new Red Sox strategy in dealing with the shift, by bunting his way on in the 5th, sending the ball to the vacant third base bag. That’s the way to beat the shift, my friends. Pablo Sandoval had a so-so game. He did get a hit, but also committed an error in the 6th with a low throw to first that Mitch Moreland could not field. Xander Bogaerts went 2-for-4 in the game, and Jackie Bradley, Jr. tripled in the 5th off Pittsburgh starter Gerrit Cole to complement his excellent work in the field. Boston beat Pittsburgh, 5-3 in interleague play, at Fenway Park. Record: 1-0. Game: 1/161.